The professionalisation of rugby union
Phillpots, Kyle (2000) The professionalisation of rugby union. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b1373116~S15
Rugby union was one of a number of versions of football to emerge from the mob
games of pre-industrial England. It was adapted in the 19th Century into a pastime
taken up by Gentlemen. During this period amateurism was the dominant
hegemony, however conflict within the Rugby Football Union (RFU) over the
concept of professionalism led to a schism with the working class clubs in the
north of England forming their own professional version of the sport in 1895.
Over the next one hundred years, the RFU utilised its power and authority to
maintain amateurism as the central concept of rugby union. For much of this
period amateurism was regarded as the superior approach to sports participation. It
was, however, a definition of amateurism that was based on a 19th Century ideal.
Changes took place in society, which changed the way sport was played. Sport
became more serious and society began to demand only success from their teams.
Rugby union was also influenced by the different cultures of the dominant playing
powers of the Southern Hemisphere. As the 20`x' Century progressed, an emergent
hegemony developed within sport, which emphasised qualities of performance that
may be termed `professional'.
In the last quarter of the 20th Century amateurism was a residual hegemony within
sport and most major sports had become both commercially oriented and
professional. In its desire to maintain and promote rugby, the RFU had become
dependent on commercialism and had also permitted cups and leagues to become
part of the sport. Finally, rather than lose total control of the sport the IRB agreed
to allow professionalism. The five years since 1995 have seen a continued struggle
for the control of the sport in England and have led some to fear for its survival at
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Rugby Union football -- Great Britain -- History, Rugby Football Union -- History, Professionalism in sports -- Great Britain|
|Official Date:||December 2000|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Department of Politics and International Studies|
|Extent:||ii, 324 leaves|
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