Thursday December 5, 2019

Tom McGurk: Rugby needs radical change to survive

How will Ireland compete against this rising tide of money?

17th January, 2016
Ian Madigan will leave for sunnier climates next season Picture: Sportsfile

Twenty-one years ago next August, world rugby went professional. In the immediate aftermath, the IRFU took the bold decision that the union would own and thereby control the game outright in Ireland. Consequently, all player contracts would be centralised. It proved to be a masterstroke.

Other nations across Europe didn’t centralise and let market forces take over. There was a generation of chaos. Famous clubs disappeared; unions fought owners. Even today, the game in Wales...

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