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For the last 130 years, the Borders has produced a long line of international class rugby players, out of all proportion to the area's small population, and has long been considered the heartland of Scottish rugby. Featuring interviews with many of the leading luminaries of Borders rugby, Neil Drysdale uncovers the passion for rugby in the Borders, how players were encouraged to play rugby by their mentors at Hawick, Gala, Melrose, Selkirk, Kelso and elsewhere, and gathers their thoughts on the future of the game in the region. In many ways, this book is a microcosm of Scottish rugby as a whole - the two Grand Slams of 1984 and 1990 were built around men from the South of Scotland, while the failure of the Border Reivers coincided with a dark period for the sport in Scotland - and seeks to discover why so many Lions legends from Jim Telfer and John Rutherford to Roy Laidlaw and Gary Armstrong, emerged to enhance the game without ever forgetting their roots. Including interviews with Doddie Weir, Craig Chalmers, Peter and Michael Dods, John Jeffrey and a host of other great as well as previously unsung heroes from behind the scenes, Southern Comfort reveals the different passions, hunger, humour, comradeship and local rivalries which fuels the region's love for rugby - and tells a story of how the South has risen above adversity to still produce the stars of the future.
Since taking over the job of All Black coach in December 2003, Graham Henry has revolutionised the way New Zealand views its national rugby team. He inherited a team that had not only capitulated in the semi-final of the World Cup - alluding to a psychological frailty that had infested New Zealand players - but also a team that had become divorced from the public after coach John Mitchell shunned media, sponsors and New Zealand Rugby Union executives. Henry has taken the view that if he does the same old things he'll get the same old results so has flouted convention throughout his tenure to try and give the All Blacks the best possible chance of winning the World Cup in 2007. He has introduced a radical rotational policy as he chases his dream of building two genuine test-quality teams, unearthed a host of global stars, unified the individual Super 14 franchises to support his cause, attempted to broaden the life skills of the players, kicked out the booze culture and created one of the best rugby sides ever seen. As a consequence, New Zealand will travel to France for the World Cup as red-hot favourites This book reveals how he has managed to succeed in areas where so many of his predecessors have failed. It is the ultimate journey behind the scenes of the All Black camp, detailing the key decisions and policies - how they were made and why they were made.
This text acts as a guide to help you enjoy the World Cup even more. Delight at the trues rugbyisms that you now see in a new light. Learn a little about those who surround the sport. As they say in this delicate game - forget the rules, let's kick off.
John 'The Bull' Hayes is an Irish rugby legend. Keith Wood calls him a 'rugby giant', Donncha O'Callaghan calls him 'the heart and soul of the team', but Hayes is adored as much for his down-to-earth personality and background as his legendary status on the pitch. The phenomenon that is The Bull grew up in GAA farming heartland and was a late recruit to the game, only picking up a rugby ball at the age of 18. His determination on the pitch and passion for the shirt comes through in many a tale of graft and glory in the front row. Hayes relates his story of over 100 caps for his country, including four Triple Crowns and a glorious Grand Slam in 2009. Two Heineken Cup-winning campaigns gild an incredible career of over 200 games for Munster. This is the story of a giant of a man, and a rugby legend who is of the people.
David Pocock was born 1988 in Zimbabwe and immigrated to Australia in 2002. David's story is one of dedication to self, family, team and others. Based on his spectacular rise and his incredible talent and drive, this book is David's insight into the world of Rugby. From his early days growing up in Zimbabwe, immigrating to Australia and playing for the Australian Schoolboys, his debut with Western Australia's The Force, to his call up to the Wallabies, he has won many honours in many games and is held in great esteem by fans and peers alike. In Openside: My Journey to The Rugby World Cup, David shares the life and times of a professional rugby player. It includes key tournaments in Rugby throughout 2011: Super Rugby, Tri-Nations, Bledisloe, as well as the highlight of the Rugby calendar the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
From Zeros to Heroes follows the England squad around France as they create the most unlikely success story in sport for years, all borne out in perhaps the greatest Rugby World Cup ever staged. In August 2007 England headed for France to defend the Rugby World Cup. No one gave them a prayer. A pathetic display against the USA, arguably the worst team in the tournament, only served to confirm the country's fears. Less than a week later, a 36-0 thrashing at the hands of South Africa left their campaign in tatters. With a difficult clash with the heavy-hitting Samoans to come it looked increasingly likely that they would be heading home as the first defending champions to have fallen at the first hurdle. The England squad got together for a brutally honest appraisal of each other and the team's misgivings in the tournament so far. With the slate wiped clean, it gave them something on which to build. Wins against Samoa and then Tonga followed, but despite a growing confidence within the team, a quarter-final berth against a heavily favoured Australian side would surely spell the end to their campaign. Not a chance. England battled to one of the most unlikely victories in the tournament's history and set-up the mouth-watering semi-final clash with its old foe, France, equally unlikely winners against the tournament favourite All Blacks. Despite England having lost to France twice in the build up to the tournament and the host's home advantage, the resurgent self-belief of the England side saw them to a famous 14-9 victory. We all now know what happened next. They may not quite have won, but no one ever expected them to be finalists. This is the story of that incredible turnaround.
Jamie Heaslip is one of the most decorated players in the history of Irish rugby. Over the course of a thirteen-year career, during which he amassed 229 appearances for Leinster and 100 international caps, his name became synonymous with both the Irish No 8 jersey and the values that have propelled the growth of professional rugby in Ireland: diligence, professionalism and an unwavering commitment to self-improvement. Here, in a frank and stirring account of his years on rugby's front line, Heaslip recalls the events, wisdom and personalities that helped craft his winning mindset and vault Ireland to the summit of world rugby. An inspiring personal memoir and insider account of Ireland's transformation from amateur backwater to professional powerhouse, All In is also a profound meditation on sport, leadership and what it takes to succeed in the harshest of environments.
A history of Bristol Rovers Football Club
Learn about the fascinating history of the Scottish rugby union team in this detailed guide to all 700 of their matches. From 1871 to 2013, this book charts players, scores, and referees as well as containing a detailed match analysis.
Bumper Rugby World Cup 2015 review edition of the acclaimed World Rugby Yearbook, the ever-popular and utterly comprehensive review of the rugby year. The World Rugby Yearbook 2016 is the largest edition of the book to date. It includes a comprehensive review of Rugby World Cup 2015 - the biggest and best tournament to date with more than 2.4 million fans attending the matches and watched in 780 million homes. Acclaimed journalist, Stephen Jones, provides his own personal reflection on the event and the book includes all the results and statistics from an amazing seven weeks of rugby. Aside from Rugby World Cup 2015, the World Rugby Yearbook 2016 will also include a complete round-up of world rugby; including country by country records and statistics for every World Cup nation (including the result of every international match played in 2015), international rugby records, and reviews and records of each of the major rugby competitions including the RBS 6 Nations, The Rugby Championship, HSBC Sevens World Series, World Rugby Women's Sevens Series, European Rugby Champions Cup, Super Rugby, Aviva Premiership and Guinness PRO12. Crammed full of features from respected figures such as Joel Stransky, George Gregan, Ian Jones, Martyn Williams, Ben Ryan, Mauro Bergamasco, Nasi Manu, Nigel Owens and Melodie Robinson; as well as a wealth of fascinating fact and figures, the World Rugby Yearbook 2016 really is the most comprehensive guide to rugby available today.
An unprecedented number of exclusive contributions by star names past and present feature within the action-packed IRB World Rugby Yearbook 2014. Will Greenwood, Joel Stransky, Ian Jones, Matt Burke, Martyn Williams, Chris Paterson and Sergio Parisse provide a personal perspective of their country's 2012/13 season, reliving the highs and lows on and off the pitch. Warren Gatland looks back on the British & Irish Lions tour to Australia and the keys to securing a first series win for the tourists since 1997. The Yearbook also reviews the Chiefs' successful Super Rugby title defence through the eyes of co-captain Liam Messam, while Nick Kennedy takes us through Toulon's historic Heineken Cup campaign. Nigel Starmer-Smith looks back over another record-breaking HSBC Sevens World Series, while Keith Quinn gives a perspective on New Zealand's double delight at Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Moscow and ScrumQueens.com editor Ali Donnelly reviews the inaugural IRB Women's Sevens World Series and an historic year for women's rugby. With more than 600 pages of features, analysis, tournament reviews, opinion, results, statistics and records, the IRB World Rugby Yearbook 2014 is an essential publication for Rugby fans around the world. The IRB World Rugby Yearbook is quite simply the most comprehensive rugby yearbook on the planet. The Daily Telegraph
Twickenham Stadium is the home of Rugby Union and the England national rugby team. It is the largest stadium in the world to be devoted purely to this sport, the second largest stadium in the UK, and the third largest in Europe. In this official publication, Phil McGowan takes us on an illustrated tour of the long and illustrious history of this magnificent stadium, featuring some of the legendary players that have trodden the hallowed ground of Twickers, the matches that have taken place, and the history that is woven into the fabric of the ground. Lavishly illustrated with images and memorabilia from the World Rugby Museum's archive in full colour, this is a tribute not only to the history of the stadium, but to Rugby Union itself.
Determined, dedicated and dogmatic, Martyn Williams is the inspiring number seven lynchpin who has steered club and country to victory in inimitable style. In his action-packed autobiography, he writes for the first time about his love for the sport he has made his own. Starting out with home-town team Pontypridd, he made his Wales debut aged just 20 and won the Welsh league title with Pontypridd the following year, repeating the feat in his first season after joining Cardiff, whom he went on to captain for three years. Twice a British Lion, his finest hour came as the award-winning role in Wales' Six Nations championship Grand Slam of 2005. But there is far more to Martyn than his seemingly smooth career path from valleys rugby to international stardom. He speaks candidly about the double personal tragedies of losing both his mother and brother to cancer and of the challenges of combining his sporting commitments with being a husband and father to his two children. Full of surprises, he also reveals his passion for both American football and soccer. A diehard Liverpool fan, he was a talented centre-half himself in his teenage years. In his autobiography, Martyn speaks for the first time about the controversial departure of Mike Ruddock as coach of the national team, the drinking culture in Welsh rugby in the early years of professionalism, the infamous Battle of Brive and why he turned down the chance to captain Wales at the 2003 World Cup. He also gives his views on the influx of southern hemisphere coaches like Graham Henry and Steve Hansen, plus the lowdown on how he prepares and trains and what really goes on in the dressing room. With coverage of the 2007 RBS Six Nations and revealing portraits of his team-mates and opponents, this honest, witty, informative and entertaining autobiography is a must for fans and any sports lover.
When Britain's empire went to war in August 1914, rugby players were the first to volunteer: they led from the front and paid a disproportionate price. When the Armistice came after four long years, their war game was over; even as the last echo of the guns of November faded, it was time to play rugby again. As Allied troops of all nations waited to return home, sport occupied their minds and bodies. In 1919, a grateful Mother Country hosted a rugby tournament for the King's Cup, to be presented by King George V at Twickenham Stadium. It was a moment of triumph, a celebration of military victory, of Allied unity and of rugby values, moral and physical. Never before had teams from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Britain and France been assembled in one place. Rugby held the first ever `World Cup' - football would not play its own version until 1930. In 2015 the modern Rugby World Cup returns to England and Twickenham as the world remembers the Centenary of the Great War. With a foreword by Jason Leonard, this is the story of rugby's journey through the First World War to its first World Cup, and how those values endure today.
Lansdowne Road has long been renowned as a sacred place for international rugby and soccer. In this affectionate history, the authors lift the lid on its greatest days and nights. From the birth of the stadium in 1873 till it closed for rebuilding in 2006, they bring to life fascinating stories such as that of the Native American lacrosse team, the brilliant athletic stars of the 1940s and 1950s, and the American Football experiment. The triple crowns, stirring victories and memorable goals and tries that brought the crowd worldwide fame as 'The Lansdowne Roar' are all here, as well as the moments of comedy and tragedy that marked the life of Ireland's oldest stadium.
The British and Irish Lions were formed in 1888 before a tour to Australia and New Zealand. It was a mainly English squad and it wasn't until 1899 that the party had players from all four home nations. The 1910 tour to South Africa marked the official beginning for the Lions. The 1950s was a glittering decade and the side won the majority of their games. They weren't as successful during the 1960, but the 1970s saw a return to form with scintillating but brutal tours to South Africa in 1974 and New Zealand in 1977.
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