Final Whistle

David Rogers / Getty Images

Rugby's running game seems like a memory

Imagine a publisher signing a writer like Richard Ford to a three-book deal, then telling him to forget about those long, languid sentences and write punchier. Or a promoter snaring Bruce Springsteen, only to insist he limit himself to Barry Manilow covers. This kind of shackling of talent is what defined the Rugby World Cup, which ended with the unlikely England–South Africa final in Paris on Oct. 20. As frustrating a tournament as many would care to recall — up there with the worst of the soccer World Cups and their goal-less, gamesmanship-ridden ordeals — the event proved that...

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