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Matt Dawson's Lions Tales gives rugby fans a satisfying dose of wonderful Lions anecdotes, epic stories of triumph and despair, of camaraderie and controversy, and stirring examples of that special bond that only competing in the white heat of battle, halfway round the world, against the mighty All Blacks, Wallabies and Springboks, can engender. Lions Tales is peppered with insight and laugh-out-loud moments, dredged from the memory banks of Dawson's own time in the iconic red shirt, and also from his keen interest in the Lions' remarkable 125-year traditions.
This inside story of the Lions in South Africa will preserve the memories of the millions of fans who follow the tour in the press, on Sky and at the games themselves. A Lions tour is the pinnacle in the career of any rugby player from the four Home Unions. It is also increasingly a highlight in the life of the vast number of travelling supporters and indeed of any rugby follower. The "Complete Book of the Lions Tour to South Africa 2009" will be an enduring record of what is bound to be an outstanding, sometimes controversial and always absorbing six weeks of rugby history, from the first match on 30th May to the third, and final, Test against the Springboks on 4th July. "The Complete Book of the Lions Tour to South Africa 2009" will recall every aspect of the tour from selection and preparation, through the early bruising encounters in the warm-up games, the high points and the low, the constant battle against injuries, the mind games and the man management, the individual successes and disappointments, gruelling training sessions and lighter moments off the field but most of all the Test series itself. The BBC's voice of rugby Ian Robertson masterminds the book as its editor and will provide comments and interviews with all the key figures on both sides. Mick Cleary's perceptive writing will throw much light on the atmosphere within the South African and Lions camps throughout the tour, examining tactics, game plans in practice on the field, individual players within the squads, including Ronan O'Gara, Brian O'Driscoll and Phil Vickery, and the leadership of Lions captain Paul O'Connell.
Covering the period from the game's origins in Ireland in the 1870s through to the onset of professional rugby in the twenty-first century, this book seeks to examine Munster rugby within the context of broader social, cultural and political trends in Irish society. As well as providing a thorough chronological survey of the game's development, key themes such as violence, masculinity, class and politics are subject to more detailed treatment. Since the turn of the twenty-first century rugby football in Munster has seen extraordinary growth in terms of popularity and cultural significance. The Munster rugby team in particular has become a hugely important provincial institution through which regional identity has been expressed on the international stage. This book will detail and analyse the game's evolution in Munster from its origins in the 1870s through to the dawn of the professional era in the 2000s. Focusing mainly on the game's two centres of popularity in Limerick and Cork cities, this book will display how contrary to popular myth, rugby football rarely expressed any kind of unitary, coherent identity throughout the province. The game was centred on clubs and was highly adaptable to local conditions throughout its history. In addition, the often fractious internal politics of the game within the province, reflecting the game's contrasting social development in Limerick and Cork, will also be discussed. Drawing on the unpublished records of the game's provincial and national administrative bodies and a comprehensive survey of the provincial press, this book will show how one sport served multifarious roles in terms of class, culture and politics in Munster.
Jonny Wilkinson's impact on global sport has been extraordinary. Yet Jonny has faced a battle all his life to achieve success and, crucially, happiness. A crippling fear of failure, the targets he set himself and a string of injuries have caused Jonny to question his attitude to life. In this startling new book, Jonny opens up for the very first time, revealing his darkest moments and explaining in a practical way the steps and techniques he has taken to ensure success in all aspects of his life. He still wants to be the best, but he now enjoys the journey. With never-before-told stories from his life and rugby career punctuated with questionnaires sent to a wide range of well-known sports people, this book will act as a powerful inspiration for anyone wanting to bring to the field of play--be it business, personal, or sport--the very best they have to offer.
The World Rugby Yearbook 2015 will include a comprehensive preview of the upcoming Rugby World Cup 2015 which will be held in England.
The World Rugby Yearbook 2015 will also include full coverage of the Women's Rugby World Cup 2014 and a complete round-up of world rugby, statistical records for every World Cup nation (including the result of every match they have played), all-time rugby records and reviews of each of the major rugby competitions including the RBS Six Nations, The Rugby Championship, Heineken Cup, Super Rugby, Aviva Premiership and RaboDirect PRO12.
The World Rugby Yearbook 2015 is quite simply the most comprehensive rugby yearbook on the planet.
SHORTLISTED FOR INTERNATIONAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF THE YEAR AT THE 2020 TELEGRAPH SPORTS BOOK AWARDS. As Kieran Read calls 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.
Voted Rugby Book of the Year at the 2018 Sports Book Awards. Wrecking Ball is a captivating and humorous memoir by Billy Vunipola, one of the stars of England's recent rugby renaissance, and will be enjoyed by those who have read the recent autobiographies by Jonny Wilkinson, Brian O'Driscoll, Dan Carter and Paul O'Connell. Standing at 6 feet 2 inches and weighing almost 20 stone, Billy is a rampaging and unmissable presence on the rugby pitch, for both club and country. Wrecking Ball is his captivating story so far, chronicling his remarkable personal odyssey of 10,000 miles, from the tiny Tongan village of Longo Longo to the imposing vastness of Twickenham. Join Billy on his journey from the year-round sunshine of Tonga to the bitter cold of a British winter, from his favourite Pontypool kebab shop to finding himself eating broccoli for breakfast, and from carefree childhood games in the middle of the Pacific to the serious business of playing professional rugby in Europe. Wrecking Ball is a wonderfully eccentric and witty book, written with bags of charm. It captures Billy's colourful family and upbringing, and creates a rounded and fascinating portrait of a young man finding his feet as a modern English rugby player.
Warren Gatland's In the Line of Fire is the ultimate chronicle of this summer's remarkable Lions tour to New Zealand - home of the fearsome All Blacks, the double world champions - which culminated in an historic and nerve-shredding series draw. The book is the Head Coach's wonderfully candid and vibrant record of the withering ferocity, the turbulent peaks and troughs, the triumphs and despairs, of one of sport's toughest challenges. It gives rugby fans an unparalleled front-row seat with the squad and coaching team during every facet of preparing for and executing a successful tour on the opposite side of the planet, recounting intriguing details on everything from pre-tour planning and strategy, to on-tour experiences, analysis and decision-making. It all adds up to a thrillingly definitive exposition and post-mortem of a mind-blowing six weeks in the cauldron which forged the mighty All Blacks.
No Regrets was the name given to Welsh rugby's three-year masterplan to give the national team the best possible chance of success at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. Created in a Wellington hotel in 2016 after Wales had been thumped 40-7 by the Waikato Chiefs during their summer tour of New Zealand, Head coach Warren Gatland, attack coach Rob Howley, Chief Executive Martyn Phillips and then-Head of Rugby Performance, Geraint John knew a major step change was needed. No Regrets was the result. In No Regrets - The Story of Wales' Plan For Rugby World Cup Glory, acclaimed Western Mail rugby correspondent Matthew Southcombe reveals how the masterplan led to the 2017 tour success in Argentina, a clean sweep in the 2018 autumn internationals and, in 2019, a Six Nations Grand Slam, a record 14-game unbeaten run and a World Rugby #1 ranking. Hopes were high, amongst the squad and the nation, as the team headed to Japan with a genuine expectation winning the tournament. Essential reading for all Welsh rugby supporters, Matthew Southcombe, in addition to telling the story of Wales' 2019 Rugby World Cup campaign, also recalls the highs and lows of Wales at the previous eight World Cups, assesses Warren Gatland's 12-year legacy with Wales, and asks what is required for this rugby-obsessed nation to reach the World Cup final, and finally lift the Webb Ellis Trophy.
We all like choosing the best-ever Welsh rugby team, but here is a XV with a difference. Here they are not players but writers. The exploits of the people's heroes from Gould to Gareth Edwards are vividly recaptured in some classic prose. So too are the expectations and emotions of the most passionate followers in the world. They deserve the best team we can put out. Here it is, a selection of world beating writing on Welsh rugby: The First XV. With an introduction by Gerald Davies, the featured authors include Richard Burton, Gwyn Thomas, Frank Keating, Alun Richards and many more.
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