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The story of the Springboks 2019 Rugby World Cup victory is one of the
most inspiring in South African sporting history.
Thando Manana was the third black African player to don a Springbok jersey after unification in 1992, when he made his debut in 2000 in a tour game against Argentina A.
His route to the top of the game was unpredictable and unusual. From his humble beginnings in the township of New Brighton, Port Elizabeth, Thando grew to become one of the grittiest loose-forwards of South African rugby, despite only starting the game at the age of 16. His rise through rugby ranks, while earning a reputation as a tough-tackling lock and later openside flanker, was astonishingly rapid, especially for a player of colour at the time. Within two years of picking up a rugby ball, he represented Eastern Province at Craven Week, and by 2000 he was a Springbok. But it isn’t solely Thando’s rugby journey that makes Being A Black Springbok a remarkable sports biography. It’s learning how he has negotiated life’s perils and pitfalls, which threatened to derail both his sporting ambitions and the course of his life.
He had to negotiate an unlikely, but fateful, kinship with a known Port Elizabeth drug-lord, who took Thando under his wing when he was a young, gullible up-and-comer at Spring Rose. Rejected by his father early in his life, Thando had to deal with a sense of abandonment and a missing protective figure and find, along the way, people to lean on.
Thando tells his story with the refreshing candour he has become synonymous with as a rugby commentator, pundit and member of the infamous Room Dividers team on Metro FM. He has arguably become rugby’s strongest advocate for the advancement of black people’s interests in the sport, and his personal journey reveals why.
In 2011 the world was shocked when the news broke that Joost van der Westhuizen, known for years as the golden boy of South African rugby and a former Springbok captain, had been diagnosed with motor neuron disease (MND).
This rare condition attacks the central nervous system, causing progressive disability. There is no known cure. All who have seen Joost in action will know that he is not one to give up without a fight. His game-changing prowess as a brilliant scrum half is now focused on a battle for survival and, more importantly, on making a difference to the lives of others with the disease. In a race against time, Joost has a dream to fulfil. He says: “In the beginning you go through all the emotions and you ask, ‘Why me?’ It’s quite simple. ‘Why not me?’ If I have to go through this to help future generations, why not me?” His acceptance of his symptoms is equally pragmatic: “One day you can’t move your arm, another day you don’t have speech. Every day you are reborn and you take the day as it comes.”
Glory Game – The Joost van der Westhuizen Story is a compelling narrative of redemption set against the backdrop of an illustrious career in rugby. It is the story of a modern-day warrior forced to face his own human frailty. Joost shows us that beyond ambition, success and fame lies the true wealth of family and friends, and that within a ravaged body the spirit can remain invincible.
The must-have companion to world rugby's biggest event.
For the first time ever, a nation outside the Six Nations or Rugby Championship, Japan, is hosting the tournament, and this book contains everything fans will need, from venue guides to detailed information on every team, key players, playing strengths, coaches, past form and a prediction of teams' chances of success. In addition to reports on the qualifying tournaments and the fill-in Rugby World Cup 2019 fixture schedule, famous games are recalled in special features, together with biographies of the men most likely to light up the tournament in the way the 2019 hosts did when they shocked South Africa in England in 2015.
The Rugby World Cup's glorious history and tournament records are also fully covered making Rugby World Cup 2019: The Official Book essential reading for all fans interested in RWC 2019.
In the autumn of 2010, a little-known New Zealander called Joe Schmidt took over as head coach at Leinster. He had never been in charge of a professional team.
After Leinster lost three of their first four games, a prominent Irish rugby pundit speculated that Schmidt had 'lost the dressing room'. Nine years on, Joe Schmidt has stepped down as Ireland coach having achieved success on a scale never before seen in Irish rugby. Two Heineken Cups in three seasons with Leinster. Three Six Nations championships in six seasons with Ireland, including the Grand Slam in 2018. And a host of firsts: the first Irish victory in South Africa; the first Irish defeat of the All Blacks, and then a second; and Ireland's first number 1 world ranking. Along the way, Schmidt became a byword for precision and focus in coaching, remarkable attention to detail and the highest of standards. But who is Joe Schmidt?
In Ordinary Joe, Schmidt tells the story of his life and influences: the experiences and management ideas that made him the coach, and the man, that he is today. And his diaries of the 2018 Grand Slam and the 2019 Rugby World Cup provide a brilliantly intimate insight into the stresses and joys of coaching a national team in victory and defeat. From the small towns in New Zealand's North Island where he played barefoot rugby and jostled around the dinner table with seven siblings, to the training grounds and video rooms where he consistently kept his teams a step ahead of the opposition, Ordinary Joe reveals an ordinary man who has helped his teams to achieve extraordinary things.
The phenomenal international number one bestseller with exclusive interviews with Richie McCaw, Steve Hansen, Beauden Barrett and Dan Carter, The Jersey is the first definitive story behind the greatest sports team on the planet.
With a better winning record than any other sports team in history, they stand head and shoulders above their nearest rugby rivals, and go to the 2019 World Cup as back-to-back World Champions. How did a country of just 4.8 million people conquer the world?
Peter Bills, who has reported on international rugby for more than 40 years, was given exclusive access to all the key figures in New Zealand rugby as he set out to understand the secrets behind the All Blacks success. From Steve Hansen to Beauden Barrett, Richie McCaw to the late Sir Colin Meads, Peter Bills talked at length with over 90 people, both in New Zealand and around the world, with intimate knowledge of what makes the All Blacks tick.
This is a story of the first settlers, and the 'Originals' who forged the All Blacks legacy, right through to modern times. It draws heavily on the contributions made by all New Zealanders: players, coaches, officials, supporters and those who have worn the most recognized jersey in the world. Intrinsically, The Jersey goes to the heart of the All Blacks success. It is also an epic story of not just a rugby team but a nation, whose identities are inextricably linked. Additionally, it debates a question, terrifying for any of their opponents. Could the All Blacks get even better?
The Springbok rugby captain, over more than a century, has represented many things to many South Africans. He has united, and he has divided. He has thrilled, he has disappointed. He has inspired, he has disheartened. He has triumphed, he has failed. But he has always had an impact.
In this revealing narrative, Edward Griffiths and Stephen Nell depict the men who have been able to call themselves ‘Springbok Captain’ through their backgrounds, triumphs and disappointments. Relive the heyday of rugby legends Bennie Osler, Danie Craven, Hennie Muller, Johan Claassen, Naas Botha, Francois Pienaar, Gary Teichmann, Joost van der Westhuizen, Andre Vos and others.
Now fully updated with the accounts of Bobby Skinstad, Victor Matfield and Jean de Villiers, The Springbok Captains is the epic story that lies at the heart of South African rugby.
2019 and 2020 mark the fiftieth anniversary of the controversial 1969/70 Springbok rugby tour of the British Isles - a landmark event on both a sporting and political level. Taking place during the time of South Africa's apartheid dispensation, the tour was characterised throughout by violent demonstrations against the 'ambassadors of apartheid'. Scenes of chanting demonstrators at the players' hotels and airports were not uncommon, nor was the sight of protesters being dragged off the field of play by police. Smoke bombs and flour bombs also became a match-day fixture.
These were wild and unnerving times for the players on tour, whose movements were badly inhibited and who had to play hide-and-seek to avoid possible violence between games of rugby. During a demanding tour that lasted more than three months and took them to and fro between England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, they endeavoured to sustain a proud tradition of highly successful Springbok tours through the Isles.
Through personal interviews with the players, including team captain Dawie de Villiers, vice-captain Tommy Bedford and other senior members of the squad, as well as key figures such as anti-apartheid campaigner Peter Hain, Crossing the White Line takes readers into the inner circle of a besieged group of sportsmen who just wanted to play rugby despite concerted efforts to deny them. The author also looks at the political context of events, and why so many felt that disrupting the tour was a matter of moral and political necessity.
Brilliant, honest, combative – Eddie Jones is a gigantic yet enigmatic figure in world rugby and a true legend of the game. In My Life And Rugby he tells his story for the first time, including the full inside story of England’s 2019 World Cup campaign.
Eddie Jones is one of the most experienced and decorated coaches in world rugby. He career has spanned four World Cups; from losing to England in the 100th minute in 2003, working with South Africa when they won in 2007, and causing the greatest upset in 2015 when he masterminded the Japanese defeat of South Africa.
Since taking over as head coach of England in 2015 Eddie Jones has masterminded a complete revival of the national team. He has won the Six Nations Championship back-to-back, including England’s first grand slam in a generation, their first ever whitewash of Australia, as well as taking them on their longest ever winning streak.
In his explosive autobiography Jones shows how his fiercely competitive attitude, his love of coaching and his philosophy of the game were formed while growing up in a tough working-class suburb of Sydney as a small half-Japanese kid, playing schoolboy rugby alongside the legendary Ella brothers.
Learning from the extreme highs and lows of his own playing career – the numerous successes playing for Randwick and New South Wales but also the painful disappointment of never playing for Australia – he shows what it takes to be the best in the world and how everything he has learnt about the game on and off the pitch has gone into plotting England’s route to the top of World Rugby.
My Life And Rugby is the story of one of the most compelling and singular figures in rugby, told with unflinching honesty this is the ultimate rugby book for all fans of the sport.
If, as a Springbok rugby fan, you have always wondered what goes on behind the scenes – in the dressing room, at practice, in team talks and on tour – this book will provide the answer to those questions, and many, many more. Renowned rugby scribe Gavin Rich has interviewed a wide cross-section of Springboks from the post-isolation era and asked them a variety of questions, including pertinent ones about politics, the exodus of players overseas and about life after rugby.
In Our Blood Is Green, more than 40 Springbok rugby players talk about their careers: how they made it to the top of their profession, what it was like to face the pressures of playing for South Africa’s national team, how they dealt with the media, the officials, and yes, the coaches who didn’t know what they were doing! They answer questions like: is there still a divide between English- and Afrikaans-speaking players, does the ‘quota’ system work, is Bok rugby all about playing for the jersey or is it, as former All Black coach Graham Henry once said, nationalism that drives the South African team? And what is it like to play against the British & Irish Lions, or to face the haka, or sing our national anthem before an international Test …?
By allowing the players to tell their own stories in their own words, Rich offers readers a comprehensive view of the players’ personal experiences, as well as their thoughts on the game today and the way forward for rugby in this country. Our Blood Is Green is a compelling read for rugby fans of all ages.
All the fun of Portico's bestselling Strangest series, now in quiz form!
Test your rugby knowledge with this handy quiz book, packed with fun and challenging quiz questions based around the weirdest events from more than a century of rugby history.
Quiz categories include: Famous Firsts and Lasts Trophy Cabinet Unexpected Interruptions Men and Women Behaving Badly Political Connections The Numbers Game Family Ties Never Mind the Weather.
Whether you're testing your friends, practising for pub quizzes or just reading it in an armchair, this book will take your rugby knowledge to a whole new level.
'A terrific book. No one put their body on the line quite like Sam Warburton.' Brian O'Driscoll 'It was an absolute privilege to play against Sam. An inspiring leader with an equally inspiring story to tell.' Jonny Wilkinson Sam Warburton OBE was not only a titan of Welsh rugby, but an icon of the game. Having represented his country as a player and team captain at all junior levels, he propelled himself to international attention in 2011 when named as the youngest ever captain of Wales for the Rugby World Cup. Despite his tender age, Sam's immense displays for club and country were recognised still further in April 2013, when, at just 24, he was named the Lions' captain for the extraordinary 2013 tour to Australia. Four years later, after a year 'in the wilderness', Sam was named Lions' captain yet again for the historic tour to New Zealand, thereby becoming the first ever Lions Captain never to lose a series in the professional era. Intelligent, calm, thoughtful - in many ways seemingly the exact opposite of the smash and crash of modern rugby - Warburton's edge never came with his size, but with his depth of thought, his reading of movement, and his understanding that, to be a uniquely successful leader, one needs to set goals that far exceed the ambitions of even the most ferocious of opponents. In leading other men, and in pitting himself against the world's best, Warburton was forced repeatedly to push himself to the very edge of his physiological and mental limits, the 21 significant injuries over that period a painful testament to his sacrifice. Open Side is therefore not simply a chronology of events or a celebration of statistics. Written in a compelling but soul searching style, this is an astoundingly personal book exploring the nature of leadership, the value of self-control, the precision of mindset and of course the future of the game. It is also a deeply personal meditation on the sacrifice of body, the torment of injury and the pain of retirement, a decision Sam was forced to make in July 2018, at just 29 years old. Never before has a rugby autobiography given such intimate access not only to the realities of the dressing room and the heroes and villains of the modern game, but to the unique mindset required to make someone a genuinely great leader of men.
Winner of the Daily Telegraph Rugby Book of the Year 2020 The Sunday Times bestselling rugby book of the year 2020 A Best Book of the Year - Daily Mail, Sunday Times, The Times Brilliant, honest, combative - Eddie Jones is a true legend of world rugby and remains an enigmatic figure in the game. In My Life and Rugby he tells his story for the first time, including the full inside account of England's 2019 World Cup campaign. He describes his experience growing up in a tough working-class area of Sydney, where he first played rugby, and how he learnt from the extreme highs and lows of his own playing career - the numerous successes but also the painful disappointment of never playing for Australia. He tells how he then embarked on a coaching career that has seen him become one of the most experienced and decorated coaches in Rugby Union, spanning four World Cups and three finals. His successes have included masterminding England's spectacular victory over New Zealand in the 2019 World Cup and engineering the sport's most stunning upset when Japan beat South Africa in 2015. My Life and Rugby is the story of one of the most compelling and singular figures in rugby. Told with unflinching honesty, this is the ultimate book for all fans of the sport. Written with Donald McRae, twice winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award and three-time Sports Feature Writer of the Year, My Life and Rugby is the story of one of the most compelling and singular figures in rugby. Told with unflinching honesty, this is the ultimate rugby book for all fans of the sport.
Former Australian rugby union legend and World Cup winner, now acclaimed television sports pundit, on his glittering career in the game - and how close he came to losing his life. Few players in the history of the game have had as illustrious a career as Wallaby fly-half and captain Michael Lynagh. In an era when Australia took the rugby world by storm with their glittering array of mercurial talent, in chief orchestrator and courageous captain Lynagh they had a pivotal figure at fly-half who shaped their style of play and at the same time played a major ambassadorial role in the world game. Yet fast forward to that April day in 2012, as Lynagh lay partially blinded in intensive care at the Royal Brisbane Hospital, his life hanging by a thread following a major stroke, his wife and three young boys on the other side of the world. The day that defined the rest of his life. Lynagh's story is one of corruscating highs and crippling lows. It's the personal tale of a sportsman playing to the extremes of his profession, but also a human tale of surviving debilitating trauma and finding a new meaning to life.
What is the state of rugby? Is the game on the brink of expansion? Or is it on the brink of implosion? No game has undergone so traumatic a transformation since the turn of the century. The last of the major sports to embrace professionalism, rugby was propelled on a trajectory that has twisted its cumbersome frame to the limit in a drama compelling and appalling to behold. After a hundred years defying the future, rugby now shudders with the turmoil of its sudden leap into the modern world, attaining heights hitherto undreamed of, even as the strains - financial, political, social and medical - threaten to tear it apart. With a global focus (and a particular lens on Australasian and South African rugby), Unholy Union is a fascinating and in-depth analysis of the sport, examining the journey so far and speculating on where it will go next. It is irreverent and provocative, asking uncomfortable questions of rugby, but imbued throughout with affection for a game that integrates all human life, as beautiful as it is ugly, as in love with itself as it is terrified. Sports enter periods that make or break them. Rugby is in one now . . .
Coach Loffie is 'n alles-in-een-handleiding vir alle aspiranten reeds gevestigde afrigters, sportlui en sportliefhebbers. Dis geskoei op die koestering van drome, Loffie se persoonlike belewenisse tydens sy grootword- en weermagjare en sy ervaring as speler en afrigter. Hy fokus op genot en veiligheid binne die sportstrukture en rugsteun sy benadering met waardevolle bydraes deur 'n biokinetikus, 'n mediese dokter, 'n fisioterapeut, 'n dieetkundige, 'n tegniese spesialis, 'n sportagent, 'n lewensafrigter en 'n geestelike leier
The Rugby Almanack is the world's longest running rugby book of record. It was first published in 1935 to cover the previous season's first-class rugby in New Zealand. Since then it has been published uninterrupted (apart from two combined issues during World War II). Now in its 84th edition, the 2020 Rugby Almanack records another huge year, including the Rugby World Cup, the All Blacks in the Rugby Championship and the Bledisloe Cup, plus Women's Rugby, Super Rugby, Mitre 10 Cup and Mitre 10 Championship and a full summary of sevens rugby.
Brian Moore, or 'Pitbull' as he came to be known during nearly a decade at the heart of the England rugby team's pack, established himself as one of the game's original hard men at a time when rugby was still an amateur sport. Since his retirement, he has earned a reputation as an equally uncompromising commentator, never afraid to tell it as he sees it and lash out at the money men and professionals that have made rugby into such a different beast. Yet, for all his bullishness on and off the pitch, there also appears a more unconventional, complicated side to the man. A solicitor by trade, Moore's love of fine wine, career experience as a manicurist and preference for reading Shakespeare in the dressing room before games, mark him out as anything but the stereotypical rugby player and in Beware of the Dog Moore lays open with astounding frankness the shocking events, both personal and professional, that have gone towards shaping him over the years. Presenting an unparalleled insight into the mind of one of British rugby's greatest players and characters, Beware of the Dogis a uniquely engaging and upfront sporting memoir.
Rugby is a sport that means different things to different people around the world. So when award-winning writer Donald McRae set off to take the pulse of the sport soon after the dawn of the professional era, he began to build a portrait of the game that highlighted the contrasts between nations, who may have been united in their love for rugby, but who saw it in very different ways. Featuring in-depth interviews with a range of great players from around the world, including Sean Fitzpatrick, Francois Pienaar and Lawrence Dallaglio among others, Winter Coloursis a compelling account of the culture of rugby as seen by its biggest stars - men who also hold dear the sport's very traditions that make it so special. This is a remarkable piece of writing and is sure to be of interest to all who follow the sport at any level.
Tony Ward's story is a tragedy of a sporting career unfulfilled. Hailed by the Irish media as the new George Best of rugby following his pivotal performance in Munster's stunning 12-0 win over the mighty touring All-Blacks - which in itself is one of the all-time greatest Irish sporting successes - Ward became a giant of Irish sport. His surge to fame portrayed him as Ireland's next glamour boy; twelve feet tall and adored by the public. But this dazzling beginning culminating in winning his first international cap for Ireland, would then be subsequently blighted by internal feuds with the powers that be in the IRFU and lasted right up until his retirement. Now, for the first time, Ward reveals in depth (including official correspondence with the IRFU) the shocking events that took place. The nature of the game at the time allowed certain elements within the ruling body to have a negative impact upon his burgeoning career. A career which ended with just nineteen caps but which rugby people across the world admitted should have been far in excess of that. His beautiful articulacy and insights, which have made him one of the foremost journalists writing about rugby today, also come to the fore in this riveting memoir of his career. But it is his revelations which will leave you shaking your head and wondering just how this could have happened. In telling his story fully for the first time, Tony Ward dearly hopes that his experience will serve as a warning to all sporting authorities everywhere that the natural skill, talent and potential of developing young sports stars will never again be mismanaged or confidence submerged in such a callous and uncaring way. This is his story.
The Little Book of Wales Rugby is the latest volume in this highly successful series of sports-themed quotes books. Focusing on the mots justes from the great players of the past 50 years. Includes quotes from many Welsh rugby giants, plus from players, coaches, journalists and fans from every era when the Welsh dragon was rampant.
SHORTLISTED FOR INTERNATIONAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF THE YEAR AT THE 2020 TELEGRAPH SPORTS BOOK AWARDS. As Kieran Read prepares to call time on his distinguished New Zealand career at the end of the Rugby World Cup, this is the open and honest life story of one of rugby's greatest players, a legendary All Black and a two-time World Cup winner. Kieran Read first played for the All Blacks as a 23-year-old in 2008 and since then has amassed more than a century of Test appearances in the famous jersey. Now, after a stellar provincial, club and international career - including back-to-back World Cup victories - the New Zealand captain writes openly and honestly about his time in the game. Read takes to these pages with his trademark determination, lifting the lid on the unique pressures of succeeding as captain the most celebrated All Black of all time (Richie McCaw). He outlines the decisions that molded his career and uncovers the skills of the coaches who shaped him, while offering readers an inside account of how the world's greatest team functions and thrives. Read unpacks the emotional toll of injury and the ignominy of defeat, neatly illustrating the intense experience of representing a rugby-obsessed nation while delivering a masterclass in how to manage the many demands on the mind and on the body. Forthright and frank, Read's well-respected views on the game and its future are a must-read for rugby fans, and his take on the myriad personalities and the peccadilloes of his team-mates, coaches and opponents will be sure to surprise and delight. From the playing fields of Papakura to the summit of the sport, Read has faced every challenge head on. His life story if no exception.
The Little Book of England Rugby is the latest volume in this highly successful series of sports-themed quotes books. Focusing on the mots justes from former players such as Steve Smith - who noted that Colin Smart who had been rushed to hospital after quaffing aftershave in Paris, 'He may have been unwell, but Colin had the nicest breath I've smelt' - and Will Carling - who, as England captain, called his bosses '57 old f**ts' - to the key men today such as coach Eddie Jones and Owen Farrell.
WINNER OF THE 2010 WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR PRIZE. Brian Moore, or 'Pitbull' as he came to be known during nearly a decade at the heart of the England rugby team's pack, established himself as one of the game's original hard men at a time when rugby was still an amateur sport. Since his retirement, he has earned a reputation as an equally uncompromising commentator, never afraid to tell it as he sees it and lash out at the money men and professionals that have made rugby into such a different beast. Yet, for all his bullishness on and off the pitch, there also appears a more unconventional, complicated side to the man. A solicitor by trade, Moore's love of fine wine, career experience as a manicurist and preference for reading Shakespeare in the dressing room before games, mark him out as anything but the stereotypical rugby player and in Beware of the Dog Moore lays open with astounding frankness the shocking events, both personal and professional, that have gone towards shaping him over the years. Presenting an unparalleled insight into the mind of one of British rugby's greatest players and characters, Beware of the Dog is a uniquely engaging and upfront sporting memoir, and was a hugely deserving winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year prize.
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