Leading into 1907, Rugby Union in Australia was in a very strong position. However, by misreading player discontent over players missing time from work due to injuries, and Rugby Union officials spending money on themselves, being full time professional administrators, while arguing that players should remain amateur, the Rugby Union authorities lost players and clubs to a break away competition, the professional Rugby League competition.
From that moment on, Rugby Union in Australia would play second fiddle to Rugby League in Australia in terms of which was the more dominant “Rugby” code. Rugby Union would also see itself falling away down the pecking order in terms of popular sports in Australia.
Those fateful decisions leading up to the 1907 break away that formed the professional Rugby League (Now known as the NRL) are all covered in the podcast below.
The True Story Of The Of The Birth Of Rugby League In Australia covers this moment. A moment where arrogant, greedy Rugby Union officials made terrible decisions that the game in Australia would never, ever recover from.