Is Professional Rugby the remedy for Tier 2 Nations qualifying for the Rugby World Cup?

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Rugby Union is a contact sport that originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football is based on running with the ball in hand. In its most common form, a game is played between two teams of 15 players each, using an oval-shaped ball on a rectangular field called a pitch. The field has H-shaped goalposts at both ends.

Rugby is valued as a sport for men and women, boys and girls. It builds teamwork, understanding, cooperation, and respect for fellow participants. Its cornerstones are, as they always have been: The pleasure of participating, the courage and skill which the game demands, the love of a team sport that enriches the lives of all involved, and the lifelong friendships forged through a shared interest in the game. It is because of, not despite, rugby’s intensely physical and athletic characteristics that such great camaraderie exists before and after matches. The long-standing tradition of players from competing teams enjoying each other’s company away from the pitch and in a social context remains at the game's very core.
Rugby has fully embraced the professional era but has retained the ethos and traditions of the recreational game. In an age in which many traditional sporting qualities are being diluted or even challenged, rugby is rightly proud of its ability to retain high standards of sportsmanship, ethical behavior, and fair play.

It is high time that Rugby Unions in the majority of the tier 2 nations shift from amateur leagues to semi and fully-professional leagues. This will improve the quality of players taking part in the league and trickle down to the respective national teams. This has been seen in all the Tier 1 nations ever since rugby went pro in 1995. The level of quality in the sides has since seen sharp contrast as tier 2 nations that are not fully professional either fail to qualify for the Rugby World Cup and when they did qualify, they were run over by professional sides that were miles ahead when it came to fitness and skillset.


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