This book explores the expansion of rugby from its imperial and amateur upper-class white male core into other contexts throughout the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The development of rugby in the racially divided communities of the setter empire and how this was viewed are explored initially. Then the editors turn to four case studies of rugby's expansion beyond the bounds of the British Empire (France, Italy, Japan and the USA). The role of women in rugby is examined and the subsequent development of women's rugby as one of the fastest growing sports for women in Europe, North America and Australasia in the 1980s and 1990s. The final section analyses the impact of commercialisation, professionalisation and media on rugby and the impact on the historic rugby culture linked to an ethos of amateurism.

chapter |26 pages

Of Warriors and Blokes

The Problem of Maori Rugby for Pakeha Masculinity in New Zealand

chapter |20 pages

Recognition through Resistance

Rugby in the USA

chapter |25 pages

Learning to Be a Man

French Rugby and Masculinity *

chapter |17 pages


The Game for ‘Real Italian Men'

chapter |21 pages

Crossing the Line

Women Playing Rugby Union

chapter |16 pages

The Global Union

Globalization and the Rugby World Cup

chapter |16 pages

Professionalism, Commercialism and the Rugby Club

The Case of Pontypridd RFC

chapter |7 pages


A Rugby World or Worlds of Rugby?