The rugby union has undergone immense change in the past two decades—introducing a World Cup, accepting professionalism, and creating a global market in players. This resource covers all of the great matches, teams, and players while also placing them in the context of the social, political, and economic changes which have affected the course of rugby's development. International in scope, this history includes not only Britain and France but also the great rugby powers of the southern hemisphere and other successful rugby nations, such as Argentina, Fiji, and Japan. Rich in anecdotes—including the story of why 1895 is the most important date in both the rugby union and rugby league history, allegations of devil worship at a Welsh rugby club, the game's contribution to the Cuban Revolution, and why the most fearsome of all New Zealand forwards was also a proficient knitter—this reference is a must-read for any fan of the oval ball.
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