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This book provides a critical analysis of rugby union in the professional era and assesses the relationship between the local and the global in the game. Through focusing on key figures and important events it traces the turbulent development of a game steeped in an amateur ethos, yet now operating in a professional sports world. It highlights that rugby can be viewed as a vehicle for engaging, and further understanding, broader societal issues related to the social, cultural, economic and political conditions shaping local and global landscapes. Areas included in the analysis include discussions of the increased migration of rugby players and coaches, the inception of a rugby world cup competition and the future development of the sport. It locates all of these issues within a framework that explores the tensions inherent in the processes of localization and globalization and the battle between tradition and change.

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