This week’s ‘Rugby Reloaded’ talks to Ryan Bodman about his forthcoming book on the social history of rugby league in New Zealand. As Ryan explains, league in NZ has always been a game of the excluded and dispossesed: industrial workers, Maori and Pacific Islanders. He talks about the links between the sport and the labour movement, discusses how anti-Catholic sectarianism saw Irish Catholics come into the game, and how NZ schools even today are a battleground between league and union. For more on the history of rugby and the other football codes, take a look at (which also has show notes for this episode) and follow me on Twitter at @collinstony.

Leave a Reply