The pandemic and pending legal action mean the sport is fractured at the top tier and fearing for the existence of its grassroots level

When World Rugby’s chairman, Sir Bill Beaumont, launched his re-election campaign a year ago, he said he was excited by the opportunities for rugby union the future held. Twelve months on, the feeling is one of apprehension rather than anticipation as the game finds itself squeezed in a vice of the coronavirus pandemic and legal action taken by former players diagnosed with early-onset dementia.

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