Rugby Books

  • JRSY
    • £6.99
    • RRP £20.00
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    New Zealand's rugby team have one of the most iconic shirts in sport and this informative book from international rugby reporter Peter Bills explains how their team has gone on to dominate the game for many decades now. It explains how you can take inspiration from their outlook and tactics and apply them to almost any field.

    The All Blacks have a better winning record than any other sports team and are one of the favourites for the 2019 World Cup (if they win this tournament, that will be three in a row!) but just how did a country of just 4.8 million people conquer the world?

    With exclusive access to over 90 players, coaches, officials and supporters who have made significant contributions to New Zealand's sporting success including Steve Hansen, Beauden Barrett and Richie McCaw, this book looks over New Zealand's proud history and culture how both of these have inspired so much glory.
  • AOMOW
    • £14.89
    • RRP £16.99
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    Richie McCaw, Rugby World Cup winning captain and the New Zealand All Black's most capped player of all time, is unquestionably the greatest player of his generation. He is arguably the most talented player of all time. In his bestselling autobiography, McCaw talks with brutal honesty about the roots of his family life that defined his character and how it gave him the strength to emerge from the lowest moment in his career to lift the Webb Ellis Cup, and become the most successful captain world rugby has ever seen. As he prepares to become the first captain to successfully defend the World Cup, McCaw has set the standard of what a professional rugby player should be. Hugely popular and respected, his sheer presence means that he is a natural leader both on and off the pitch and his story is not just a brutal account of life on the front line, but an exhilarating portrait of modern rugby.
  • AEHCI
    • £12.89
    • RRP £12.99
    Jonny Wilkinson's career has crossed three decades and four World Cups. He has accumulated phenomenal achievements, world points records, an impressive list of broken body parts, and a drop goal that will be remembered for ever. But the peculiar calmness with which he played the game masked a very different reality. In JONNY, he reveals the extraordinary psychology that he had to tame in order to be able to dominate his sport. For most of his life, he was driven by a quest for perfection and an obsession to be the best player in the world; here he shows how these two facets of his competitive mind took such a hold of him that they sent him to the top of the world, then swept him up and dragged him down into a spiral of despair. Jonny's career has spanned the far reaches: amazing highs and iconic moments, then a fight against injury that culminated in a battle with depression. Here he tells of the physical toll he knew his body was taking from rugby, even from his youth; he tells of how he never wanted to be a kicking fly-half but learned to adapt his natural game to play the style that Clive Woodward believed necessary to win a World Cup, and how he nearly walked out on Martin Johnson's England team 13 years later.
  • AFYQK
    • £10.39
    • RRP £12.99
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    Champions do extra. They sweep the sheds. They follow the spearhead. They keep a blue head. They are good ancestors. In Legacy, best-selling author James Kerr goes deep into the heart of the world's most successful sporting team, the legendary All Blacks of New Zealand, to reveal 15 powerful and practical lessons for leadership and business. Legacy is a unique, inspiring handbook for leaders in all fields, and asks: What are the secrets of success - sustained success? How do you achieve world-class standards, day after day, week after week, year after year? How do you handle pressure? How do you train to win at the highest level? What do you leave behind you after you're gone? What will be your legacy?
  • AOMQZ
    • £11.29
    • RRP £12.99
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    Twickenham Stadium is rightly venerated as the home of the Rugby Football Union (RFU). While it may bask in this fame, the stadium's beginnings were very humble. The land it was built upon was purchased in 1907 and would subsequently become the home to the Harlequins who would play the first ever match against Richmond. The first England test match didn't take place until 1910 and a home win ensured things got off on the right footing but cows, sheep and horses would be grazing on the pitch just four years later as the stadium became a farm during the First World War. The first Varsity match was played in December 1921, by which time the popularity of Twickenham had soared. Extra accommodation was created in the North Stand, built in 1925 by the legendary football stadium architect, Archibald Leitch. By 1931, the famous 'Twickenham Look' had come about. When the Second World War arrived, the ground became a Civil Defence depot, and the closest it got to being hit by enemy action was in July 1944 when a V1 flying bomb fell in the front garden of a house opposite the West Gate, injuring sixteen people. The car park was dug up and - appropriately given its original use - turned into allotments to generate much needed fresh food for the locals. The stadium today is at the heart of a multi-million pound business that the RFU controls, but how does it generate so much money from this one plot of land? With such a colourful and celebrated history The Secret Life of Twickenham will dig deeper into it's history to reveal the many men and women, cutting across all social backgrounds, jobs, and positions within the RFU who have helped to build this iconic stadium into a globally recognised brand. It will reveal to all fans of rugby union the true history of the most iconic sports stadium in the British Isles with a compendium of facts, dates, figures and revealing anecdotes of England's sporting fortress.
  • APGHA
    • £6.89
    • RRP £6.95
    If you have a player in your life but don't understand the game at all, then this is the book for you. Aimed at friends and family who go along to watch but have no real idea what is going on.If you will be cheering on a rugby touch line this winter, mystified by the antics on the pitch, this is the book for you. Not only will it help to explain what is going on from the spectator's viewpoint - it will also raise you several notches in your loved one's esteem.After reading this book you will be able to talk knowledgeably about tries, conversions and scrums, and know the difference between a ruck and a maul. You might even enjoy the matches much more as a result.The author provides a complete guide to the intricacies of rugby for all those supporters to whom these predominantly male sports are a complete mystery.This book is for all bemused supporters, male and female, who loyally turn out to cheer in all weathers
  • AJADE
    • £16.89
    • RRP £16.99
    Tag rugby, the RFU's official version of the game for under-7s and under-8s, is the perfect entry into the world of rugby. A non-contact sport, using Velcro-attached tags on a tag belt, it can be played safely by girls and boys together as young as five years old. The second edition of this popular book, endorsed by the RFU, contains: * the most up-to-date rules of play * new exercises, drills, games and lesson plans * tips for coaches and referees * the how-to of funding and festivals * guidelines for safeguarding children, and much more. Using clear language and diagrams, Tag Rugby will improve your understanding of skill development and focus your coaching. It also contains advice for adapting drills and games to account for varying abilities and enabling disabled children to participate in the sport. With its primary mission to make the game fun and accessible to all - players, coaches, parents and spectators alike - this is an essential handbook for anyone involved in tag rugby.
  • AAZUJ
    • £8.89
    • RRP £8.99
    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. Nominated for a British Sports Book Award.
  • ABCNJ
    • £12.79
    • RRP £15.99
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    If you get a big kick out of rugby but still feel you could sharpen up your knowledge of the game, this friendly guide is for you. Inside you'll find easy-to-understand advice on the basic rules and pitch positions, plus in-depth lessons on ball skills, fitness training, and techniques to outwit your opponents - all illustrated with entertaining stories from British and International rugby's back pages. This book covers the basic rules, pitch positions and tactics you'll need to fully muck in - safely - as well as a grounding in the local, national and international reaches of Rugby Union Rugby Union For Dummies 3rd Edition: * Features an in-depth and up-to-date look at the Laws that form the beautiful game * Covers all you will need to know about talking tactics and is perfect for anyone looking at swatting up on rugby before next year's World Cup * Advises on all you will need to know to get stuck in and play * Is written by an expert in the field who knows anything there is to know about rugby * Contains a new chapter on sevens as the sport will be a demonstration sport at London 2012 and a full sport at Rio 2016
  • AOLQE
    • £18.89
    • RRP £18.99
    Fourteen years since his autobiography, Size Doesn't Matter, English rugby's most decorated flanker, Neil Back, returns with a tale of triumphs, heartaches and broken promises. From his anti-hero role as 'The Hand of Back' in Leicester Tigers' European Cup triumph over Munster, to Grand Slam glory and the 2003 World Cup with England, Neil is never far from the story. The Death of Rugby dissects the Lions' disastrous 2005 tour of New Zealand, the ousting of his mentor Dean Richards from Leicester Tigers, and Neil's three years in charge of Leeds, before being recruited by The Rugby Football Club, and why Neil and his colleagues had to walk away, despite an unbeaten season, and league and cup double. Neil deals with the adjustment from professional sportsman into family and regular working life, despite a critical illness in 2013, which has shaped his perspective on life.
  • AOPXE
    • £16.89
    • RRP £16.99
    Inspiring and irreverent by turns, Brian Levison's new anthology has drawn on rugby's wealth of excellent writing. Frank Keating, P. G. Wodehouse, Alec Waugh, A. A. Thomson, John Reason and Mick Imlah are among the distinguished names who have written movingly, amusingly and entertainingly about the game they loved. Great players such as Brian O'Driscoll, Willie John McBride, J. P. R. Williams, Chester Williams, Colin Meads, Gavin Hastings and Brian Moore give us a fascinating insider's view, as does World Cup Final referee Derek Bevan, who reveals what it is like to try to control thirty powerful and often volatile men in a highly competitive situation. But some of the best writing and the wittiest insights come from those who played their rugby at a much less exalted level. The origins of the game - sometimes true, sometimes fanciful - are explored as are some of its rituals like the haka. There are amusing tales including that of the four Tibetan boys sent by the Dalai Lama to learn the game at Rugby School and an account of New Zealand scrum-half Chris Laidlaw's hostile reception at a village fete in Wales. Along with barely believable stories about the game's hardest men, including the French coach Jean 'le Sultan' Sebedio, who used to conduct training sessions wearing a sombrero and wielding a long whip, and 'Red' Conway who had his finger amputated rather than miss a game for South Africa. One section 'Double Vision' looks at the same incident from opposing viewpoints, such as when the then relatively inexperienced Irish immortal Willie John McBride took a swing at the mighty All Black Colin Meads in a line-out. Another, 'Giving it Everything', shows how exceptional courage was not restricted to the rugby field but extended to the battle grounds of the First World War. From the compiler of highly acclaimed All in a Day's Cricket, this selection covers the game from virtually every angle and is sure to delight any rugby fan.
  • BMRBU
    • £19.89
    • RRP £25.00
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    After the terrible losses of The Great War, twenty years later the Second World War resulted in the death of some of the finest sporting icons. This book honours the ninety international rugby players who lost their lives. Fifteen were Scottish, fourteen English, eleven Welsh and eight Irish. Australia and New Zealand suffered with ten and two internationals killed respectively and France eight. Germany topped the list with nineteen. In the same way that the Authors best-selling Into Touch remembered the 130 Internationals lost in the First World War, Final Scrum gives an individual biography of each of the ninety with their international and club playing record as well as their backgrounds, details of their military careers and circumstances of their death. We learn where they are buried or commemorated together with at least one photograph of each player. Rugby enthusiasts will find this book a fascinating and moving record of the sacrifice of the finest young men of their generation who fought in the second worldwide conflict of the 20th Century.
  • BTEBI
    • £17.56
    • RRP £21.95
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    Way back when there was a clear distinction between work and rugby, great names of the game spent their time working in an office or at a trade or out on the farm, all the while fitting in training and then playing at the weekends. That job/play distinction became hazier through the 80s and 90s until, in the wake of Jonah Lomu's stunning exploits at the 1995 World Cup and pressure from media barons, the International Rugby Board declared rugby professional. Some players just missed that paydirt, others straddled the crossover years while the rest have never known any different and have always written `fulltime sportsman' on their tax returns as rugby threaded its way through two decades of professionalism. For all of these players, though, there was a finishing line, a final test appearance. Some made that choice, others had it made for them. Some All Blacks had planned strongly for life after rugby, many were pursued hard by companies while others had difficulties settling into the next chapter of their lives. How did they go about that transition? Did they wait for guidance, have a lightbulb moment, take on some serious study or retraining or did they have the security of going back into a family business? How did a lifetime in rugby protect or prepare them for experiences after the game and how and why did they make the choices they did? Rugby - The Afterlife explores in great detail how a number of All Blacks coped with that transition and came out the other side.
  • BROTZ
    • £16.79
    • RRP £20.99
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    The story of Keith Murdoch is the great unsolved mystery of world rugby. The All Black who was sent home from the tour of the British Isles in 1972 and who exiled himself to the vastness of the Australian outback remains a banner headline in rugby memories. It does so despite the passing of the years. The basics of the story are well known: the strength of the man who scored the All Blacks' only try against Wales, then the celebrations that night that went so horribly wrong. Murdoch has appeared publicly a few times since but not said much and nothing at all of the events of that night, or how he felt then and later. But now, the story can be told more fully than before through anecdotes and memories of teammates and colleagues and through the damning words of those who condemned him to his life on the run.
  • BBCLY
    • £16.00
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    Sir Ian McGeechan is the 'Ultimate Lion'. Nobody's name resonates louder with the Lions than his. In 2017 the British and Irish Lions face one of the toughest tours in history - taking on the All Blacks in New Zealand, where they have only won one of their last 12 Tests. In this unique and fascinating book Sir Ian McGeechan uses his own coaching notes to provide insight and background into what it means to be a Lion, and how the most successful Lions teams in history were built. He will also delve into his rich collection of anecdotes to bring alive the characters involved, and it will undoubtedly be a book that even Warren Gatland will want to read.
  • BSBTB
    • £15.99
    • RRP £19.99
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    In 1905, Vic Cartwright's England rugby team lined up against Dave Gallaher's touring All Blacks at Crystal Palace - the first ever meeting of two national teams. Ensuing matches, in both the amateur and professional eras, have been dramatic and controversial, steeped in the historical rivalry of the traditional home of the game for the nation that has claimed rugby as its own. Men in white (such as Wakefield, Beaumont, Carling, Leonard and Johnson) versus men in black (Meads, Lochore, Fitzpatrick, Lomu, McCaw). Hakas drowned out by rousing renditions of 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot'. Grinding forward tussles on cold, murky afternoons and sweeping back-line movements on sun-lit grounds. Thorny Encounters chronicles the first 40 Test matches between England and New Zealand, in which giants of the sport have measured themselves against each other. In the professional era, the match has become the clash of the hemispheres.
  • BSAMU
    • £15.99
    • RRP £19.99
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    World Rugby Records covers the biggest, the best and the most exciting aspects of a game that is unlike any other. World Rugby Records is a special celebration of rugby excellence, featuring not only a host of records from teams and tournaments around the world (in all the game's formats), but also the stats and stories behind them as well as a series of detailed biographies on some of the greatest players ever to have played the game. Whether you are an armchair fan or a Twickenham regular, it is essential reading for any student of the game.
  • BPKWX
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    The uplifting, feel-good autobiography of Ben Ryan, the coach of the Olympic gold-medal winning Fijian rugby team The inspirational story of how one man changed a nation, how that nation changed the man and how together they made sporting history. It is late summer 2013. Ben Ryan, a red-haired, 40-something, spectacle-wearing Englishman, is given 20 minutes to decide whether he wants to coach Fiji's rugby sevens team, with the aim of taking them to the nation's first-ever Olympic medal. He has never been to Fiji. There has been no discussion of contracts or salary. But he knows that no one plays rugby like the men from these isolated Pacific islands, just as no one plays football like the kids from the Brazilian favelas, or no one runs as fast as the boys and girls from Jamaica's boondocks. He knows too that no other rugby nation has so little - no money and no resources, only basic equipment and a long, sad history of losing its most gifted players to richer, greedier nations. Ryan says yes. And with that simple word he sets in motion an extraordinary journey that will encompass witchdoctors and rugby-obsessed prime ministers, sun-smeared dawns and devastating cyclones, intense friendships and bitter rows, phone taps and wild nationwide parties. It will end in Rio with a performance that not only wins Olympic gold but reaches fresh heights for rugby union and makes Ben and his 12 players living legends back home.
  • BSMML
    (1)
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    My Name'5 Doddie is the extraordinary, life-affirming autobiography of rugby legend Doddie Weir.

    Throughout his career, Doddie has experienced huge highs and shocking lows and has faced some of the greatest players in the game. Now at the age of 48, he is facing an entirely different adversary: Motor Neurone Disease.

    But whether he's on or off the pitch, Doddie has never been one to shy away from a challenge. He has faced up to MND with undaunted positivity and used his boundless energy to raise funds for MND research and support.
  • BSWCT
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    Ian Robertson joined the BBC during the golden age of radio broadcasting and was given a crash course in the art of sports commentary from some of the greatest names ever to sit behind a microphone: Cliff Morgan and Peter Bromley, Bryon Butler and John Arlott. Almost half a century after being introduced to the rugby airwaves by his inspiring mentor Bill McLaren, the former Scotland fly-half looks back on the most eventful of careers, during which he covered nine British and Irish Lions tours and eight World Cups, including the 2003 tournament that saw England life the Webb Ellis Trophy and "Robbo" pick up awards for his spine-tingling description of Jonny Wilkinson's decisive drop goal. He reflects on his playing days, his role in guiding Cambridge University to a long spell of Varsity Match supremacy and his relationships with some of the union code's most celebrated figures, including Sir Clive Woodward and Jonah Lomu. He also writes vividly and hilariously of his experiences as a horse racing enthusiast, his meetings with some of the world's legendary golfers and his dealings with a stellar cast of sporting outsiders, from Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor to Nelson Mandela. It is a hugely entertaining story that begins in a bygone rugby age, yet has much to say about the game in the here and now.
  • BBCBE
    • £15.19
    • RRP £18.99
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    One of the founder members in 1895 of what became the Rugby League, Batley was once a thriving centre of commerce, one of the bustling mill towns in the Heavy Woollen District of West Yorkshire. More than 120 years on, times have changed, even if the town's Victorian buildings remain, but one constant is the importance of the club as the centre of the community. And in 2016, the Batley Bulldogs brought more than their fair share of pride to the town. They were Underdogs, but gave their professional Super League rivals a run for their money in a season that surpassed all expectations. Given unprecedented access to the team - players, staff and fans - Tony Hannan charts a fascinating year in the life of a lower-league club, of labourers spilling blood and guts on to Batley's notorious sloping pitch before getting bruised bodies up for work on a Monday morning, of hand-to-mouth existence at the unglamorous and gritty end of British sport. And at their centre is the Bulldogs captain Keegan Hirst, the first rugby league player to come out as gay, and inspirational coach John Kear, just two men in the most colourful cast of characters. It was also a year when the town was plunged into tragedy by the brutal murder of local MP Jo Cox, a great supporter of the club. Underdogs is more than just a book about Batley though. It is the story of northern working-class culture, past and present, and a report from the front-line of a society struggling to find its identity in a changing world.
  • BSVAU
    • £15.19
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    The first biography of the enigmatic coach who has completely transformed the England rugby team. After Eddie Jones began coaching England's rugby team in November 2015, they won 22 of their next 23 matches. The side that limped out of the last World Cup was thoroughly revitalised. But who is the unconventional figure responsible for this change of fortune? And will he be able to sustain his brilliant track record in the run-up to the 2019 World Cup? From his school days playing alongside the legendary Ella brothers to his masterminding of Japan's jaw-dropping victory over South Africa in the 2015 World Cup, Eddie Jones has always been a polarising figure, known for his punishing work ethic. Constantly controversial, never complacent, Jones has truly shaken up English rugby. Drawing on over a hundred interviews with former teammates, players, administrators and coaching colleagues, veteran rugby writer Mike Colman brings a rare level of insight to his biography of this singular man.
  • BSIQJ
    • £14.39
    • RRP £17.99
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    In the great traditions of New Zealand prop forwards, Wyatt Crockett's stellar professional rugby career has been defined by steely determination and quiet achievement. Now, for the first time, the most capped Super Rugby player of all time is ready to tell the story of his remarkable rugby journey. Crockett lifts the lid on the laughs, the lows, the highs and the hilarity of his time at the top of the game. He charts his rise through the ranks of some of the nation's most famous teams and gives us an inside account of the people who shaped him, and the stories that defined him. If you thought props were all grunts and grimaces, prepare to have your perceptions called into question with this rib-tickling read. The man they call `Croczilla' offers a monster of a story, from the frontline of the game.
  • BKKTI
    • £13.49
    • RRP £16.99
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    Car-crash tackles at lightning pace, brutal hits and extreme physical exertion in all weathers; rugby league is an unforgiving sport. It's a battle between player and opponent, whilst the demons inside your body are screaming at you that every sinew is in pain. Show weakness and the opposition has an edge over you. You've already lost and you've also let your teammates down. Don't, and just maybe you can experience the best the sport has to offer and the adulation of thousands of supporters. Danny Sculthorpe epitomised what being a tough, no-nonsense player was all about. Released by Leeds and Warrington before he'd even become a man, he revitalised his career at Rochdale. Then came the big money move to Wigan and the highs and lows of a cup final before he was unceremoniously dumped by a coach he thought had his back. Spells at Castleford, Wakefield and Huddersfield followed until he landed at one of the most storied clubs in the world - Bradford Bulls. But agony struck. After beating countless injuries - and type one diabetes - over a long career that saw him captain his country, a simple training ground accident cost him his livelihood and almost his life.Forced onto the scrapheap with many years ahead of him, depression followed alongside an addiction to medication and sleeping tablets. Worse was to follow as money troubles finally came home to roost, leaving one of the toughest players ever to play the game to contemplate suicide. Highs, Lows and Hypos is an incredible story of being a sportsman at the top of your game to someone who came acutely close to losing everything. It's how one man battled his black, emotional state to become an inspiration for all.