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125. World War One & Australian rugby’s great myth

Whenever there’s a debate between Australian union and league fans, someone will very quickly raise the question of World War One.

League, so the argument goes, only became the dominant rugby code in Australia because union stopped playing during the war. The implication is that rugby league took advantage of the war to get the upper-hand over union.

But nothing in this debate is quite as it seems, so this week’s episode looks at how the war-time league/union divide refelcted much deeper divisions in Australian society.

For more on the history of rugby and the other football codes, take a look at (which also has show notes and links for this episode) and follow me on Twitter at @collinstony.

Source: Rugby League Podcasting Network
125. World War One & Australian rugby’s great myth