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Rugby union at a junction: wealth for a few or salvation for global game? | Robert Kitson

The choice facing Europe’s unions at Dublin summit this week could not be starker but the options are not straightforward

It is a cliche nowadays to say professional rugby union is at a crossroads. That implies there is still the option of chugging on serenely without changing direction when, in truth, the sport sits at a major T-junction. Turn left in search of massive wealth and prosperity for a chosen few or right for the salvation of the wider global game? The choice facing Europe’s leading unions in Dublin this week could not be starker.

On the one hand they have the chance to solve all their financial headaches at a stroke, courtesy of a bid from the private equity firm CVC to buy a 30% share of the Six Nations championship and the autumn Tests for a figure not unadjacent to £500m. On the other they could throw their weight behind the latest Nations League proposals which World Rugby hopes will revitalise the international game for all from 2020. Doing nothing is not an option.

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