Rugby Books

Our rugby books include autobiographies and biographies about the legends of the game. We also have a selection of rugby history books and fact books for fans of the game.

  • JRSY

    The Jersey (Hardback)

    Peter Bills

    Hand-picked favourites
    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.
    • £6.99
    • RRP £20.00
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  • BXVQR

    The Rugby World Cup 2019 Book (Paperback)

    Graeme Copas

    A thoroughly researched and comprehensive guide to the 2019 Rugby World Cup, to be held in Japan in September. The sporting highlight of the year, with teams from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland all competing for the coveted William Webb Ellis trophy. The book will provide the reader with all the information and insight needed to understand and enjoy the competition. Written by sports journalist Graeme Copas, the book covers the history and build up to qualification, the tournament schedule and venues for this Rugby Union showcase, while also providing talking points, an in-depth analysis of each team and insightful interviews with players and rugby experts from a variety of countries Also included is a thoroughly researched survey of the host country, Japan, and the growing popularity of rugby there, telling how they won the right the host the first Rugby World Cup in Asia. All 20 national teams involved are analysed and assessed on their chances of success, the star players are featured and each coach`s basic strategies outlined and explained. With this book, the reader will have a handy, competent source of information on hand both before the start and especially whilst the tournament proceeds to its thrilling conclusion.
    • £11.29
    • RRP £12.99
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  • BYGUS

    Rugby World Cup 2019 TM (Paperback)

    Simon Collings

    Rugby World Cup 2019: The Official Book is 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.
    • £11.99
    • RRP £14.99
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  • BXYLV

    Great Moments in Irish Rugby (Paperback)

    Sportsfile

    Ireland is now playing at the top table in world Rugby, with clubs and country considered among the toughest around. It wasn't always like this, and for decades we propped up the bottom of the tables, with moral victories often the most we could hope for. Ray McManus and his team at Sportsfile have been there throughout, passionately following the boys in green (and blue, red, white and the dark green of Connaught), capturing the essence of this physical, punishing sport and those who play it. With reminiscences from photographers and players alike, this book is a look back over the decades at the legendary players, matches and moments that have contributed to the narrative of our contribution to one of the world's most exciting sports. A must for rugby fans wherever they are. Paperback edition updated to include Ireland's historic win over New Zealand in September 2018 and their performance in 2019 Six Nations.
    • £11.19
    • RRP £13.99
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  • BSMML

    My Name'5 Doddie (Hardback)

    Doddie Weir

    (1)
    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.
    • £15.89
    • RRP £20.00
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  • BRZFP

    Scottish Rugby 101 (Paperback)

    Peter Burns

    Scottish Rugby 101 is a compendium of fascinating facts, quotes, stats, stories, personalities and trivia - a perfect stocking-filler for all fans of Scottish rugby. From the very first Test match in 1871 all the way through to the present day, Scottish rugby's rich history is distilled into 101 facts, stats and stories. This fun-packed volume is an instructive, if sometimes irreverent - but always affectionate - guide to some of the ground-breaking firsts, controversies, innovations, achievements and disasters that have taken place in the game north of the Border - an entertaining crib-sheet to Scottish rugby for experts and novices alike.
    • £7.69
    • RRP £7.99
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  • BFJCO

    Playing the Enemy (Paperback)

    John Carlin

    As the day of the final of the 1995 Rugby World Cup dawned, and the Springboks faced New Zealand's all-conquering All Blacks, more was at stake than a sporting trophy. When Nelson Mandela appeared wearing a Springboks jersey and led the all-white Afrikaner-dominated team in singing South Africa's new national anthem, he conquered the hearts of white South Africa. Playing the Enemy tells the extraordinary human story of how that moment became possible. It shows how a sport, once the preserve of South Africa's Afrikaans-speaking minority, came to unify the new rainbow nation, and tells of how - just occasionally - something as simple as a game really can help people to rise above themselves and see beyond their differences.
    • £9.89
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  • AYVHM

    Dan Carter: The Autobiography of an All Blacks Legend (Paperback)

    Dan Carter

    Dan Carter's last game as an All Black culminated with him declared Man of the Match following the 2015 Rugby World Cup final at Twickenham - an unforgettable ending to the career of the greatest fly-half of all time. But along with the triumphs of his signature World Cup win, his performance against the Lions in 2005, and an unprecedented run of Bledisloe Cup successes, there was also the pain and doubt he felt during a prolonged period of injury and rehab following the 2011 World Cup. He watched that victory from the sidelines, as he had the All Blacks' defeats in two previous tournaments. Indeed, heading into the 2015 World Cup he had never finished the competition on his own terms. His autobiography tells of that redemption, and gets you up close and personal with one of the most celebrated sportsmen of our time. Threaded throughout the book is an intimate diary of his final year as a Crusader and All Black, during which he worked tirelessly to make one last run at that elusive goal: a World Cup victory achieved on the field. Dan Carter's autobiography is essential reading for all sports fans.
    • £9.89
    • RRP £10.99
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  • BYVFH

    The Strangest Rugby Quiz Book (Paperback)

    John Griffiths

    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. Word count: 30,000 words.
    • £5.59
    • RRP £6.99
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  • BYNPK

    Rugby: An Anthology (Paperback)

    Brian Levison

    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.
    • £11.99
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  • BYIQC

    The Little Book of Wales Rugby (Hardback)

    Gary Baker

    The Little Book of Wales Rugby is the latest volume in this highly successful series of sports-themed quotes books. Focusing on the mots juste 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.
    • £5.59
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  • BYIPX

    The Little Book of England Rugby (Hardback)

    Richard Bath

    The Little Book of England Rugby is the latest volume in this highly successful series of sports-themed quotes books. Focusing on the mots juste 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.
    • £5.59
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  • BXJYN

    On To Glory! (Hardback)

    Welsh Rugby Union

    At the start of the 2019 Guinness Six Nations Wales were 9/2 against to win the tournament. Six weeks later they had gone one better and won a historic Grand Slam! On To Glory! tells how Warren Gatland's men defied the odds and expectations to rouse a country behind them and defeat all-comers across an action-packed campaign. Packed with wonderful photographs and exclusive interviews with stars of the tournament such as Alun-Wyn Jones, George North, Gareth Anscombe and Warren Gatland, the book takes readers inside the Wales camp and provides a wonderful souvenir of a very special achievement. From the remarkable comeback in Paris, to the training camp in Nice, getting the job done in Italy and then the euphoria of beating England in Cardiff, the book follows the team as they strive to make history. As momentum builds the reader is taken to Murrayfield for the brutal match against a proud Scotland team and then to the Welsh capital for the dramatic decider against the world's second-best team.
    • £16.00
    • RRP £20.00
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  • BXIHY

    Sevens Heaven (Paperback)

    Ben Ryan

    SHORTLISTED FOR THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR 2018 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.
    • £7.99
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  • BXHAH

    Rugby World Cup 101 (Paperback)

    Peter Burns

    Rugby World Cup 101 is a compendium of fascinating facts, stats, stories, personalities and trivia - perfect for all fans of rugby from around the world. From the genesis of the tournament in 1987 all the way through to the present day, the Rugby World Cup's rich history is distilled into 101 facts, stats and stories. This entertaining volume is an instructive, if sometimes irreverent - but always affectionate - guide to some of the groundbreaking firsts, controversies, innovations, characters, achievements and disasters that have taken place in rugby's marquee event. Whether an expert or a novice, this is the perfect companion for rugby lovers around the world.
    • £8.99
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  • BXHAG

    Welsh Rugby 101 (Paperback)

    John Griffiths

    Welsh Rugby 101 is a compendium of fascinating facts, stats, stories, personalities and trivia - perfect for all fans of Welsh rugby. From the very first Test match against England in 1881 all the way through to the present day, Welsh rugby's rich history is distilled into 101 facts, stats and stories. This entertaining volume is an instructive, if sometimes irreverent - but always affectionate - guide to some of the groundbreaking firsts, controversies, innovations, characters, achievements and disasters that have taken place in the Principality over the years. Whether an expert or a novice, this is the perfect companion for those who follow Wales's exploits on the field and love to bask in light of its glorious (and sometimes inglorious) past.
    • £8.99
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  • BXGYA

    English Rugby 101 (Paperback)

    John Griffiths

    English Rugby 101 is a compendium of fascinating facts, stats, stories, personalities and trivia - perfect for all fans of English rugby. From the very first Test match against Scotland in 1871 all the way through to the present day, England's rugby's rich history is distilled into 101 facts, stats and stories. This entertaining volume is an instructive, if sometimes irreverent - but always affectionate - guide to some of the groundbreaking firsts, controversies, innovations, characters, achievements and disasters that have taken place in at Twickenham and around the world. Whether an expert or a novice, this is the perfect companion for those who follow the exploits of the red-rose warriors on the field and love to bask in light of their glorious (and sometimes inglorious) past.
    • £8.99
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  • BWDSM

    Roars from the Back of the Bus (Paperback)

    Stewart McKinney

    Roars from the Back of the Bus is an absorbing, amusing and at times moving collection of tales that give a rare insight into the camaraderie that exists between players at the top of their game, showing that relationships forged through experiences on a Lions tour last a lifetime. From the first Tour in 1888, it showcases characters with immense personality who fought together in wars or on rugby pitches in foreign lands, and who shared a bond developed through touring as representatives of the home nations. Despite the changes to the game after the advent of professionalism, the experiences of Jamie Heaslip, Brian O'Driscoll and Joe Worsley are still similar in some ways to those of earlier intrepid tourists like Blair Mayne, Lewis Jones, Sir Carl Aarvold or David Rollo. Containing defining memories and private insights from across the tours and the decades, Roars from the Back of the Bus shows that the Lions ethos remains strong at the heart of every team.
    • £12.89
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  • BVWRD

    Call Them to Remembrance (Paperback)

    Gwyn Prescott

    It is estimated that the First World War claimed the lives of 40,000 Welshmen, all of them heroes whose sacrifice is honoured by a grateful nation. 'Call them to remembrance', which includes 120 illustrations and maps, tells the stories of thirteen Welsh heroes who shared the common bond of having worn the famous red jersey of the Welsh international rugby team. Gwyn Prescott's sensitive and fascinating book, the product of over ten year's research and study, recovers the memory of these thirteen multi-talented and courageous Welshmen who gave their lives in the Great War of 1914-18, detailing their playing and military careers. Amongst their stories are the leading amateur golfer in Wales who represented Newport at five sports; the Cambridge choral scholar who gave up his job in India to volunteer for the Army; the flying Cardiff winger who impressed Lloyd George; and the "lion-hearted" hero of the famous Welsh victory over New Zealand in 1905.
    • £14.24
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  • BVVYK

    The King's Cup 1919 (Paperback)

    Howard Evans

    The world of rugby celebrated the 8th Rugby World Cup in 2015, but a tournament held in 1919, The King's Cup, can rightly claim to be rugby's first competitive 'World Cup'. Meticulously complied by Howard Evans and Phil Atkinson, The King's Cup 1919, is the first book to tell the story of rugby's first 'World Cup' and is essential reading for all rugby enthusiasts and military historians. With over 140 photos and illustrations, and chapters focusing on the competing teams, the players, and every game in the tournament, the authors have provided a comprehensive and attractive record of a long-forgotten but historically important competition that most rugby supporters are completely unaware of. At the outbreak of World War I in 1914, all rugby was suspended by decree of the individual rugby unions, with only inter-military encounters and fundraising games permitted. After the Armistice in November 1918, with the armies of the world's rugby-playing nations still stationed in Britain, and with the public desperate to see competitive rugby played again, an inter-military tournament was organised.King George V was so enthused by the proposed competition that he agreed to have the tournament named after him, and so The King's Cup was born. The King's Cup 1919 Explains the British military's refusal to allow separate teams for England, Wales, Scotland or Ireland by the creation of 'Mother Country' Explains how the Royal Navy were invited to compete but declined Confirmed the status of New Zealand as the dominant rugby-playing nation Saw the first competitive game between New Zealand and South Africa Shows the origins of apartheid South Africa's refusal to accept black players in opposing teams
    • £14.24
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  • BVQPJ

    Nerves of Steele (Paperback)

    Anthony Bunko

    Known to thousands of rugby fans as a knowledgeable, passionate and witty broadcaster, and as an entertaining and popular after-dinner speaker, Phil Steele's confident demeanour and humorous disposition mask a life-long battle against depression and anxiety heightened by heartbreak and tragedy in his personal life. Nerves of Steele is a remarkable story and reveals the real Phil Steele, a man known only by his very closest friends and family.The Cardiff-born 'Ely Boy', who dreamed of playing for Wales, suffered his first bout of debilitating clinical depression when he saw his promising rugby career with Newport RFC wrecked by injury at only 23, just as his eye-catching performances had earned him a call up to the Wales B squad.The curse of mental illness and its malevolent twin, chronic anxiety, hung over Phil for years, who describes his suffering as 'like living under a cloak of constant unease' and at times even sapped his will to go on living. His vulnerability was repeatedly tested by losing both patents whilst still in his twenties, his younger sister to alcoholism and his beloved wife Liz who died from a brain tumour aged 48, only a month after being diagnosed.Nerves of Steele is, however, an uplifting story of how, despite all the mental anguish and personal tragedy, Phil's determination, strength of character and infectious personality has enabled him to conquer his condition and live a full and rewarding personal and professional life. With mental illness believed to affect one in every four people, Nerves of Steele will resonate with those that have experienced it themselves as well as their loved ones who've also been affected by it - and offer them all real hope for the future.
    • £13.29
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  • BVLEC

    Strength and Conditioning for Rugby Union (Paperback)

    Joel Brannigan

    Rugby Union as a sport has seen continual evolution over the years, and never more so than since the game officially became professional in 1995. While on the pitch tactics have seen more formalized approaches to skill acquisition, it is off the pitch where the biggest changes have occurred and no area has developed more than strength and conditioning. Players have gone from traditionally training for 'fitness' as an add-on to their rugby training to seeking out structured athletic training interventions. Furthermore, with modern rugby players being physically bigger and faster, the need to ensure that they are more robust and free from injury has led to the demand for a more scientific approach to the prescription of strength and conditioning. In Strength and Conditioning for Rugby Union, ex-international player Joel Brannigan presents the underpinning science of strength and conditioning in rugby. Using the fundamental principles of training, he details a structure of assessing rugby players that in turn will allow appropriate training inverventions to be planned out and, most importantly, coached to a wide range of rugby playing levels.
    • £18.04
    • RRP £18.99
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  • BUHWA

    Sketches From Memory (Hardback)

    Stuart Barnes

    Stuart Barnes has spent over forty years of his life immersed in rugby union, remembered as one of the most controversial playing names during the dying days of the English amateur era and now regarded as a controversial observers in the media - on both television and in print - with over two decades of broadcasting and journalistic experience to draw upon. Sketches from Memory combines autobiography with an objective and off-beat study of the sport from the author's childhood in the 1970s, through the revolution of the transition to professionalism in the 1980s and 1990s, right up until the present day. Eschewing the more traditional form of the sports book, Barnes abandons chronology to allow past and present to mingle, presenting his memoirs as an alphabetical soup with the letters of the alphabet and not the numbers, dates and years of his life leading the narrative. It is a refreshing, beguiling and absorbing approach that allows the dedicated reader to complete the book in sequence, or the bed-side reader to flick from one letter to the next without losing the thread. Honest, insightful, funny and wise, Sketches from Memory is a fascinating study of the game of rugby union, exploring its myriad enchantments, controversies and world-famous characters like no other book has done before.
    • £15.29
    • RRP £16.99
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  • BTPBG

    Behind the Dragon (Hardback)

    Ross Harries

    This is a complete history of the Welsh rugby union team - told by the players themselves. Based on a combination of painstaking research into the early years of the Wales team to interviews with a vast array of Test match players and coaches from the Second World War to the present day, Ross Harries delves to the very heart of what it means to play for Wales, painting a unique and utterly compelling picture of the game in the only words that can truly do so: the players' own. Behind the Dragon lifts the lid on what it is to pull on the famous red shirt - the trials and tribulations behind the scenes, the glory, the drama and the honour on the field, and the heart-warming tales of friendship and humour off it. Absorbing and illuminating, this is the ultimate history of Welsh rugby - told, definitively, by the men who have been there and done it.
    • £17.99
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