chapter  14
15 Pages

Tries for the nation? International rugby players’ perspectives on national identity

In his article on sport, globalization, migration and the reconfiguration of the nation-state, Maguire (2008) illustrates the multi-directionality of global flows by observing how people and nations appear to react differently to similar experiences of global sport. In addition, Dyreson (2003) notes that the globalization of modern sport, rather than developing a singular global culture, has paradoxically fuelled a diversity of national interests. The challenge of this work is to further investigate the complex inter-relationships that bind together sport, globalization processes and national identity.1 National identity has been identified as one of the main causes of problems encountered by sporting migrants as they flow through ‘talent migratory pipelines’ between host and donor countries (Molnar and Maguire, 2008). The particular focus here is on viewing national identities through the eyes of elite rugby players from the British Isles as national representatives in a ‘world in union’.2