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
    • £11.29
    • RRP £12.99
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    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?
  • AQEPJ
    • £19.89
    • RRP £20.00
    My Autobiography is the up-close-and-personal memoir of a global icon of sport, a country boy who went on to become rugby's world superstar. Daniel William Carter is acknowledged as the greatest fly-half to have played international rugby. A veteran of more than 100 Test matches, he is the world record holder for most Test points, has twice been named the IRB's Player of the Year and twice named New Zealand Player of the Year. Legendary unbeaten All Blacks coach, Sir Fred Allen, who followed international rugby from the 1920s until after the 2011 Rugby World Cup, had no hesitation in naming Carter as the greatest fly-half he ever saw. Carter, though, is renowned for his modesty and unassuming nature, and argues that he has he always 'just tried to do the best job I can for the All Blacks'. In My Autobiography, the great All Blacks pivot with the model good looks opens up for the first time about his stellar 12-year career. He looks back on the myriad highs, including that virtuoso performance against the Lions in the second Test of the 2005 series when he scored a record 33 points. (The Guardian described the performance as 'the definitive fly-half display of the modern era.') With an equal measure of honesty, he reflects on the lows of his career, speaking frankly of the mental anguish he felt after twice being invalided out of Rugby World Cups. He also talks about his unflinching loyalty to the famous black jersey and the reasons why he elected to make a long-term commitment to New Zealand.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • AOLZI
    • £12.89
    • RRP £12.99
    NEW IN PAPERBACK. This is the completely updated second edition of a comprehensive and well-presented manual that is fully endorsed by the Rugby Football Union (RFU). From health and fitness through to training, game technique, team playing and coaching, every aspect of the game is analysed and explained in detail. The manual has been updated to include case studies and photographs of England's latest players, information on new rule changes, an all-new section on women's rugby and a foreword by the England coach due to be appointed in 2012.
  • 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
  • AOVUQ
    • £24.89
    • RRP £25.00
    A visual history of rugby's greatest sporting event, this beautiful photographic book is a fascinating chronological exploration of the matches, teams, heroes and surrounding stories of the tournament. Each chapter covers a Rugby World Cup, starting with the inaugural competition in 1987 - in which New Zealand confirmed their status as the world's top rugby nation - to the historical 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa after the end of apartheid and the international sports boycott through England's fantastic win in 2003 breaking the southern hemisphere's dominance, up to the 2015 qualifiers. The book also looks ahead to Rugby World Cup 2019, with Japan as host city. Each photograph has been carefully selected to give a real glimpse into this great tournament. The ideal, collectable gift for any rugby fan, written by a rugby expert.
  • AOLQE
    • £17.89
    • RRP £18.99
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    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.
  • AIQPB
    • £19.89
    • RRP £25.00
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    Among the million plus British and Empire soldiers that fell in the slaughter of The Great War were an elite band of International Rugby players. Tragically, over 130 'caps' from England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa - and France - lost their lives on land, in the air and at sea. Even their legendary strength, fitness and courage were not enough to spare and save them. The book will contain a brief history of International Rugby up to and including The First World War and there will be biographies of each player along with their individual and team photographs. Details of the manner of their death, their burial place and any memorials will also be included, alongside their international playing record. Nigel McCrery is best known for his crime writing but his previously published works reflect his interest in The Great War, notably All The King's Men, a best seller and successful film starring David Jason.
  • 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.
  • BBCLY
    • £16.00
    • RRP £20.00
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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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • BSBTB
    • £15.99
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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.
  • 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.
  • BAGUC
    • £15.19
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    Not since the legendary Eric Rush departed the scene have the All Blacks had a jokester/prankster quite like World Cup-winning winger Cory 'CJ' Jane. A Commonwealth Games Sevens gold medallist and frontline All Black since 2008, Jane is one of the funniest men in New Zealand rugby. He was one of the first All Blacks to embrace social media, in particular Twitter, as a means of connecting with his fans and supporters. His stint as host of the All Blacks online behind-the-scene features 'Room Raiders' was extremely popular and he has also starred as a comments man for Sky Sport. In Winging It: Random Tales from the Right Wing Jane takes the mickey out of everything -- and everyone! -- rugby. No player or occasion is spared the sharp-witted Jane tongue. Get all the goss from the usually fortress-like inner All Blacks sanctum and, most of all, find out all the stuff the players did not want you to know.
  • AZKBD
    • £13.49
    • RRP £16.99
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    Eddie Hemmings and Mike 'Stevo' Stephenson, the Sky Sports double act synonymous with rugby league for over a quarter of a century, are finally calling it a day. In 'It's Been Grand' the two veteran commentators tell the story of how their on-screen partnership was formed through a chance meeting. And they relate many of their tales of adventure, mayhem, mishap and success from their early days at BSB through to the present day with Sky TV. The stories include losing a Mercedes and gaining a Ford, creating 'Boots 'n' All' by pester-power and an inebriated invader on the TV gantry. They also relate many of their tour down under adventures such as a confrontation with a drunk former girlfriend, birthday celebrations with the Great Britain Test team and a bedroom with clean sheets but no walls. And others are not spared the Stevo and Eddie treatment either with tales of a free lunch at the expense of John Kear, the story of five Martin Offiah's and Maurice Lyndsey and the knife-throwing Apache. Alas, with Stevo's retirement at the end of the 2016 season, the partnership is coming to an end. But enjoy the fun, the japes and the catastrophes and celebrations of the last 28 years of rugby league TV commentary in Eddie and Stevo's 'It's Been Grand'.
  • 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.
  • AZMLX
    • £13.59
    • RRP £16.99
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    A vivid story of the men and women who took a stand when sport mixed with politics. In 1971, when the racially selected all-white Springbok rugby team toured Australia, it became a nation at war with itself. There was bloodshed as tens of thousands of anti-apartheid campaigners clashed with governments, police, and rugby fans - who were given free reign to assault protestors. Queensland premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen declared a state of emergency. Prime minister William McMahon called the Wallabies who refused to play 'national disgraces'. Barbed wire ringed the great rugby grounds to stop protestors invading the field. Pitched Battle recreates what became of the most rancorous periods in modern Australian history - a time of courage, pain, faith, fanaticism, and political opportunism - which ultimately made heroes of the seven Wallabies who refused to play, played a key role in the later political careers of Peter Beattie, Meredith Burgmann, and Peter Hain, and ultimately led to the abandonment of apartheid.
  • BKLAG
    • £13.79
    • RRP £16.99
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    From Saints to Winners tells the tale of a campaign bookended by tragedy, but laden with glory. Jim Mallinder's Saints marched all the way to three finals, winning two of them, as they secured the first Premiership trophy they craved, as well as Challenge Cup glory. The previous summer had seen the death of Leon Barwell, who did so much to bring success to Northampton, and Saints went on to do their late chairman proud. There was more heartache to come as Luis Ghaut, the young man so many had taken to their hearts, sadly passed away at the start of the following season; but courageous Luis had been able to lead his favourite team out at Twickenham and saw them win two trophies before he lost his battle with cancer. It was a season that he was able to treasure, and one that no one who witnessed it would ever forget. The story is told by Tom Vickers, the local journalist who covered every game, home and away, and by the players and coaches who made it possible.