Rugby Football in Nineteenth-century Cardiff and South Wales: 'this Rugby Spellbound People'

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In this, the first detailed and original historical study of rugby union at a local level in Wales, Gwyn Prescott draws on previously unused sources to provide fresh insights into the origins and early years of the game in Wales. It also throws new light both on the significance of Cardiff to Welsh rugby in the nineteenth century and on the importance of rugby in Cardiff. At the grass roots, the game was dominated by neighbourhood clubs, largely involving working-class and lower middle-class players and administrators, rather than by institutional teams organised by social improvers. At the highest level of competition, an emphasis on civic pride meant that success on the field was more important than social exclusivity. The game was played and supported, therefore, by representatives of all classes within the town which led to rugby becoming the dominant sporting force in what was to become the capital city of Wales.

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Welsh Academic Press
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