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William Greenwood

Doctor of Philosophy, (History)
Study Completed: 2008
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Class, conflict and the clash of codes: The introduction of Rugby League in New Zealand: 1908-1920

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Mr Greenwood studied the development of Rugby League in New Zealand from its introduction in 1908 until 1920. The research focused on when and where the game was played in New Zealand, who played the game, and the factors which helped and hindered its development. It was found that the majority of Rugby League players were working class and were attracted to the game because it was perceived to be a clean and open game, in contrast with the slower and more injury-prone code of Rugby Union. Dissatisfaction with the administration and laws of Rugby Union was another factor which motivated people to play the game. Although many of the provincial leagues ceased to operate during World War One, Rugby League consolidated its club competitions in Auckland and Christchurch during the war years. These advances were made in spite of extensive opposition from the New Zealand Rugby Football Union.

Associate Professor Geoff Watson
Associate Professor James Watson

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