If you would like wider reading about this particular era of interest there are plenty of books to sink your teeth into. I shall add more as and when, with links as to where to purchase them, if possible.
"In 1895, the game of rugby league was born. Ever since, it has brought us thrilling matches, magical players and countless memorable moments. Published to coincide with the game's 125th anniversary, Rugby League: A People’s History tells the story of the sport in all its glory, from global superstars to local supporters and everyone in between ... professionals and amateurs, men and women, officials and volunteers.
It goes back to the start of rugby and explains why rugby league was born, how it grew around the world, and what enabled – and still enables – it to triumph over adversity.
This is more than just a history of rugby league. It is a social history of the life and times of the north of England."
-Scratching Shed Publishing Ltd
"Runcorn was a hotbed of rugby in the late Victorian era, the town’s club a proud founder member in 1895 of the Northern Union – the breakaway game that became known as Rugby League.
Yet that great rugby tradition was ended by the First World War, with devastating effects for many Runcornians, including members of the rugby club, who served and lost their lives.
Runcorn nurtured ten international rugby players in total, all but one born within a few hundred yards of the Irwell Lane ground.
Respected sports writer and historian Michael Latham recreates those far-off days when the oval ball dominated and the town’s heroes included Harry Speakman, a member of the first rugby tourists to Australia, Sam Houghton, Jimmy Butterworth, Jimmy Jolley and Dick Padbury, among just a few in a gallery of colourful characters, the rugby league superstars of their day.
With a detailed biographical and records section to complement the deeply researched narrative, this is one of the most comprehensive histories ever written about the Northern Union and contains around three hundred photographs.
Harry Price was once a promising Runcorn player, snapped up by Wigan in 1906, where he became a highly regarded and popular player and captain. The report announcing his signing in the Wigan newspaper had a simple, approving testimonial: “Price was born in Runcorn, the home of footballers.” Hence the book’s title. "
"Rugby has always been a sport with as much drama off the field as on it. For every thrilling last-minute Jonny Wilkinson drop-goal to win the World Cup or Jonah Lomu rampage down the touchline for a try there has been a split, a feud, or a controversy.
The Oval World is the first full-length history of rugby on a world scale-from its origins in the village-based football games of medieval times to the globalized sport of the twenty-first century, now played over a hundred countries. It tells the story of how a game played in an obscure English public school became the winter sport of the British Empire, spreading to France, Argentina, Japan, and the rest of the world, and commanding a global television audience of over four billion for the last World Cup final. It also explores how American football-and other games, such as Australian, Canadian, and Gaelic football-emerged from their English cousin.
Featuring the great moments in the game's history and its legendary names-David Duckham, Serge Blanco, Billy Boston, and David Campese, alongside Rupert Brooke, King George V, Boris Karloff, Charles de Gaulle, and Nelson Mandela-The Oval World investigates just what it is about rugby that enables it to thrive in countries with very different traditions and cultures. This is the definitive world history of a truly global rugby. "