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The state of rugby union in England

On  this organ we have covered on numerous occasions developments in the administration and running of the sport of rugby union around the world, most often with reference to the English Premiership and the competitions in which the top tier professional clubs play their rugby at home and abroad.

Today is no different.

Our regular subjects of interest include the control and running of the sport as carried out by the Rugby Football Union (RFU), Premiership Rugby and the elite clubs; the often fraught relationship between those in charge of administering and coaching the English national team and the elite clubs – especially with regard to the amount of time that players are “away” when involved in the national squad; the diminishing amount of time, effort and funding that the RFU appears to devote to the game at below Premiership –  right down to (amateur) community club – level; the laws governing player health and safety issues generally, not least as regards concussion and head injuries; and the future commercial development of the sport in what has become a heavily-overcrowded marketplace.

In our time we have not spared the RFU itself from criticism. Historically – especially since the dawn of professional era which began in 1995 – it has had a record of apparent dithering, neglect, inconsistency, lack of business nous and sheer rank incompetence virtually unmatched in the sporting world – albeit some of it arguably caused by the fundamentally irreconcilable interests of the elite professional level of the game and “the rest” (the semi-professional down to its amateur version).

Sometimes it never rains but it pours …

As a representative example of that to which I refer, here below is a link to an article by Robert Kitson on the impact of the RFU’s new rules for the semi-professional level of the game that appears today upon the website of – THE GUARDIAN

[My apologies in advance to Rusters if – by the time they attempt to follow this link – the newspaper’s website has blocked it from working!]


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About Tom Hollingworth

Tom Hollingsworth is a former deputy sports editor of the Daily Express. For many years he worked in a sports agency, representing mainly football players and motor racing drivers. Tom holds a private pilot’s licence and flying is his principal recreation. More Posts