English rugby union manager Eddie Jones has clearly ruffled the pens of the Rugby Football Union with his remarks on the consequences of his sport’s “reliance on the private school system” (Report, August 9), but it is indisputable that the English game has been rooted in elitism throughout its existence. A key factor in the creation of what became rugby league in 1895 was the fear that the success of some northern clubs on the pitch stemmed from their inclusion of ‘workers’. The former public schoolboys of the rugby establishment could never come to terms with this in the 19th century and Jones confirms, perhaps, that little has changed since then.
Rugby union has adopted many rules to bring itself closer to the league on the pitch but, in terms of inclusivity and core values, it still lags far behind what many in the sport still consider its bastard offspring.
Holmfirth, West Yorkshire
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