1st Edition

The Rugby World in the Professional Era

Edited By John Nauright, Tony Collins Copyright 2017
    190 Pages
    by Routledge

    200 Pages
    by Routledge

    Twenty years of professionalism has seen rugby union undergo dramatic transformations, from changes to everyday training cultures to the growth of the Rugby World Cup into one of the largest global sporting events. The Rugby World in the Professional Era is the first book to examine the effect that professionalism has had across a number of different aspects of the game and the wider socio-cultural significance of these changes through case studies from across the globe.

    Drawing on contributions from scholars from across the rugby-playing world, the book explores the role of rugby's professionalisation through a number of social-scientific lenses, including:

    • labour migration
    • race and indigenous populations
    • the globalisation of the game
    • mega-event management
    • male sexualities
    • media representations of rugby - from broadcasting matches to rugby in museums and on stage and screen

    Offering insights into under-researched areas of the sport, such as the growth of Rugby Sevens into an Olympic sport, and providing the most up-to-date recent history of the sport available, The Rugby World in the Professional Era is essential reading for anyone with an academic interest in rugby, and any student or scholar with interests in sports history, sports sociology, sport management or the economics of professional sport.

    Introduction (Tony Collins and John Nauright)

    Part 1: Professional Rugby On and Off the Field

    1. Professional Rugby and Irish Society 1995-2015 (Liam O'Callaghan)

    2. Cows in the Heartland: New Zealand Rugby and Rural Change in the Professional Era (Greg Ryan)

    3. The World Comes to One Country: Migration, Cultures and Professional Rugby in France (Philip Dine)

    4. Cultural Diversity in Action: Developing and Engaging Effective Responses within Rugby Union in Australia (Jioji Ravulo)

    5. The Maori All Blacks and Ethnicity in Aotearoa/New Zealand in the Professional Era (Farah Palmer)

    6. The Impact of the Professional Era on Pacific Islands Rugby (Robert Dewey)

    7. The Globalisation of Rugby 7s: From Novelty to the Olympic Games (Jeremy Stewart and Marc Keech)

    8. The Rugby World Cup As Global Mega Event (Kamilla Swart)

    Part 2: Rugby Cultures and Representation in the Professional Era

    9. Making Men in the 21st Century: Metrosexuality and Bromance in Contemporary Rugby (Adam White and Eric Anderson)

    10. The Road From Wigan Pier: Professional Rugby and the Changing Dynamics Between Wales and England (John Harris)

    11. 'When Jerseys Speak': Contested Heritage and South African Rugby (Marizanne Grundlingh)

    12. Performativity, Identities and Rugby From Field to Stage in the New South Africa (Carla Lever)

    13. Dressed for Success: Historicizing Nelson Mandela's Involvement in the 1995 Rugby World Cup (Albert Grundlingh)


    John Nauright is Chair and Professor of the Department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion and Recreation at the University of North Texas, USA. He is the author of Rugby and the South African Nation and Long Run to Freedom: Sport, Cultures and Identities in South Africa. He is also editor of Making Men: Rugby and Masculine Identity and Making the Rugby World: Race, Gender, Commerce. He was consultant and talking head for the BBC Wales series The Union Game, a global history of rugby union

    Tony Collins is Professor of Sports History and former Director of the International Centre for Sports History and Culture at De Montfort University in Leicester, UK. He is the author of The Oval World: A Global History of Rugby; A Social History of English Rugby Union; Rugby’s Great Split: Class, Culture and the Origins of Rugby League Football; Rugby League in Twentieth Century Britain; and Sport in Capitalist Society