Letter: No toffs in our team

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Colin Welland perpetuates the myth that rugby union is a toff's game, while league is played only by the Northern proletariat ("Hard. Honest. Beautiful", 1 May).

Even if we exclude the Welsh and Irish, plus all those classless Aussies, there are many working-class players and clubs in England. The first team my husband played for was made up of lorry drivers and in the second, the entire front row were members of the Socialist Workers Party.

Conversely, league is played at many good grammar schools up North. In the Catholic community, from which so many players come, the sport played is largely a function of the religious order running the school. If it is Jesuits, it is football; Christian Brothers, rugby union; Salesians, rugby league.

Regarding France, to insist that only treizistes resisted Vichy is an insult to all the brave rugby men in the Resistance, such as the Toulon player Joseph Lafontan, who was executed by the Nazis in 1944.


London N10