ABSTRACT

The chapter initially summarises the similarities and differences in the global development of elite level professional rugby union. The chapter also discusses possible adaptations that could occur as the game of rugby union continues to evolve. The chapter documents the major findings that have emerged from the research and includes a number of recommendations for the future development of elite rugby union. Specifically, the chapter is structured as follows:

The future of the Rugby World Cup

Rugby Sevens and the Olympics

The British and Irish Lions: 2017 and beyond

The amateur game’s survival

The players’ voice – experiences, expectations and consequences