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The Breakdown | Rugby in Wales has survived mass shutdown before and will again

After a religious revival brought rugby to a close in the Principality 116 years ago it returned stronger as it will this time

Sport has shut down all over the world as countries look to contain the spread of coronavirus. There was an attempt 116 years ago to shut down rugby in Wales permanently: a religious revival regarded the sport an an affront to the Almighty and a number of clubs did close only for rugby to emerge as the country’s national sport.

The revival started at the end of November 1904 when a trainee minister and former coal miner, Evan Roberts, began praying nightly, with a group of students from his home church in Loughor, that his life would be completely surrendered to God. Within a week it spread throughout the area and there many of the masses who were converted were not churchgoers. And then far beyond.

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