Rugby Reloaded public
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This month's 'Rugby Reloaded' chats with Huw Richards about the past, present and future of rugby league in London following the London Broncos' decision to revert to part-time pro status. We look at the history of the club and the problems facing rugby league expansion in London, as well as its achievements over the past 40 years, before gazing in…
 
This month's 'Rugby Reloaded' talks to Dr Hendrik Snyders about the attempts to start rugby league in South Africa in the 1950s and the influx of black, 'coloured' and white South Africans into British rugby league in the 1960s. It's a story of politics, race, RFL accommodation to apartheid, and British rugby league providing a home for non-white r…
 
In the last of the current weekly series of 'Rugby Reloaded' I catch up with journalist and fellow Hull-born leaguie Trevor Gibbons to talk about growing up league in Hull, the psycho-geography of the city's sport, the eternal battle between the red and the black, and what it all means to the city of Hull. For more on the history of rugby and the o…
 
On 4 July 1914 the greatest rugby league test match of all time took place - the third and decisive game of the 1914 Ashes series. Led by Harold Wagstaff, a nine-man British Lions team overcame Australia 14-6 at the Sydney Cricket Ground. It set the template for international rugby league and became the benchmark for what was expected of players. B…
 
It's Game 4 of the Stanley Cup tonight and so this week's episode of 'Rugby Reloaded' talks to Bruce Berglund about the history of ice hockey and his new book 'The Fastest Game in the World: Hockey and the Globalization of Sport'. We talk about hockey's origins at the same time as the emergence of the football codes, how it reflected Muscular Chris…
 
'Rugby League is dying' has been a refrain that has dogged the sport throughout its history. But rugby league hasn't died, and in fact has survived numerous attempts to kill it off. So why does this 'meme' continue? The latest 'Rugby Reloaded' looks at its history, asks why it has re-emerged recently, and argues that the sport is no closer to death…
 
Joseph Platt was the man who organised the historic meeting at the George Hotel in August 1895, and he remained secretary of the Northern Union for 25 years. He steered the NU through the split, rule changes, international expansion, and World War One - yet his attempts to expand the game were hamstrung by the self-interest of the founder clubs. Th…
 
Psychotherapist and former Huddersfield Giant Jon Bell joins us on the podcast this week to talk about his work on vulnerability, mental health and rugby league. Over the past decade, mental health has become an increasingly important issue in the game, and is linked to issues such as masculinity, de-industrialisation and the changing nature of pro…
 
The new 'Rugby Reloaded' talks to Professor Gavin Kitching about Sunderland, Sunderland Albion, and how soccer overtook rugby in the North East of England in the 1870s and 1880s. Gavin's new book 'A Fateful Love: Essays on Football in the North-East of England 1880-1930' is a detailed investigation of the myths and realities of football's rise, and…
 
This week 'Rugby Reloaded' looks at the literature and poetry of rugby union, and explores how its patriotic message helped the game expand dramatically after World War One. 'Tom Brown's Schooldays' helped launch rugby union in the mid-19th century and its themes became part of the sport's culture. But World War One gave rugby union its most import…
 
This week's episode of 'Rugby Reloaded' looks at how Leicester Tigers saved rugby union in the early 1900s. The history of folk football in Leicestershire extends back into the middle ages, and rugby was the first football code to take root there in the 1870s. Just as in the north of England, rugby became a mass spectator sport run on professional …
 
This week's 'Rugby Reloaded' looks at the origins of rugby in Hull and its strange twist of geographical fate. The city was and remains a heartland of rugby dating back to the 1860s. Like the rest of the north of England, the game in Hull was begun by former public schoolboys, but it quickly captured the imagination of dockers, shipbuilders and fac…
 
It's the FA Cup Final on Saturday - so 'Rugby Reloaded' investigates whether the FA Cup was directly inspired by Sheffield's Youdan Cup. The Youdan Cup kicked off in Sheffield in 1867 and was won by Hallam FC by two rouges to nil. Many Sheffield fans believe the cup was the model that FA secretary Charles Alcock used for the FA Cup when it kicked o…
 
In 1913 the French modern artist Robert Delaunay exhibited his ground-breaking painting 'The Cardiff Team'. It was an important painting in 20th century French art which used rugby as a metaphor for the newly industrialising nation which France was becoming. Rugby was part of the 'shock of the new' heralded by avant-garde artists like Delaunay. But…
 
Rugby and coalminers in the north of England formed an unbreakable bond as far as back as the 1880s. Rugby league was built on pit villages and mining towns. Of the first ten members of the RFL Hall of Fame, three were miners. But as this episode of 'Rugby Reloaded' explains, this link went much deeper, because both mining and rugby league were see…
 
For 140 years, Welsh rugby players have travelled to the north of England to find fame and fortune. At first they went to play for the powerhouse clubs of northern rugby union, and when those clubs created rugby league, Welsh players became an integral part of the 13-a-side game. This week's 'Rugby Reloaded' investigates the players who 'went North…
 
Cricket's County Championship began last week, so this week's episode looks at the huge role that cricket played in the birth of the football codes. In the mid-nineteenth century cricketers across Britain took up football and cricket clubs started their own football sections. The rugby and football authorities borrowed from cricket and took their l…
 
Thursday 8 April is the anniversary of the 1995 meeting in Wigan when British rugby league agreed with Rupert Murdoch's News Ltd to switch to a summer Super League. It was part of the biggest revolution rugby had seen since 1895. Not only was rugby league changed forever, but rugby union was forced to embrace open professionalism. This week's 'Rugb…
 
29 March 2021 is the 25th anniversary of the very first game in Super League, so part one of a special double episode steps back in time to examine the events that led up to the summer rugby league revolution. We trace Super League's roots back to the problems that British rugby league faced from the 1970s, which escalated in the 1980s. Wage inflat…
 
Barely six months after Super League pulled out of Toronto, the US-based XFL is in talks with the Canadian Football League about a potential merger. This week's 'Rugby Reloaded' talks to football scholar Spencer Kassimir about the history of the XFL and the CFL, the background to the talks, and what lessons can be learned by other football codes. F…
 
Manchester City and United are currently dominating the English Premier League - but until the 20th century Manchester was seen as a hotbed of rugby, not soccer. So how did the city lose its status as one of rugby's most important centres? The new 'Rugby Reloaded' explores the rise and decline of Manchester as a rugby city, and examines how a serie…
 
To mark International Women's Day 2021, this episode talks to Julia Lee, one of the true pioneers of British rugby league. Julia was the first women ever to referee a men's professional rugby match of any code anywhere in the world. She's also been a trailblazer in the administration of the sport, has had a play written about her career, and is now…
 
The birth of rugby league coincided with a wave of Jewish immigration to Britain in the 1890s, and Jews in the big cities of northern England quickly took the game to their hearts. The same was true in Sydney, where a Jewish rugby league competition was played in the 1920s. This week's 'Rugby Reloaded' takes a look at the history of Jewish involvem…
 
As the new NRL season is about to raise the value of the drop-goal for the first time in 130 years, the new ‘Rugby Reloaded’ investigates the history of the drop-kick and the drop-goal. How did the drop-kick become so important that for over fifty years it was the most valuable way of scoring points in rugby union? And will the NRL's new rule lead …
 
Humans have thrown and kicked a ball towards some form of goal fo as long as people have lived in communities. In any historical period, in part of the globe, football-type games have been played by men and women. This week's 'Rugby Reloaded' takes the long view of 'folk football' in Britain before the emergence of the modern rugby and soccer footb…
 
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