The International Rugby Board has confirmed that as of September, 2012, rugby union will again revert to being an amateur game. From this date onwards no players can receive any financial rewards for taking part in the sport and if they do so they will be banned from the game for life.
The decision, which has rocked the rugby world, reverses the momentous decision in 1995 to go professional and to end the 'shamateurism' which blighted the sport for well over a century.
The IRB has chosen to end rugby's 'open' period after reviewing video evidence from the southern hemisphere's Super Rugby competition which has shown that it is now becoming not only commonplace for players to dance after scoring a try, but also that said dancing is not followed with the players involved being ostracised from the game.
The key incident which has prompted the dramatic volte-face was former England fly-half Danny Cipriani dancing during an appearance for the Melbourne Rebels. (The dance can be viewed here - viewer discretion advised).
The IRB also cited the wearing of a red sparkly hat by centre Jamie Robert's after Wales' recent Grand Slam win and claimed it was another nail in the coffin of rugby as a professional sport.
"We can no longer stand idly by whilst our once great game is besmirched in such a way," said IRB spokesperson Andrew Lyons at a Dublin press conference. "The actions of a worrying large number of modern professional players has stripped our game of its dignity and its status. We hereby confirm that from this coming September the game will revert to its amateur status. May God forgive us for our trespasses against His holy game. Not even in our worst nightmares back in 1995 did we see rugby coming to this."
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