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Rugby Books

  • The Jersey

    Peter Bills

    Product Code: JRSY
    Hardback
    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.
    • £3.00
    • RRP £20.00
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  • The Little Book of Wales Rugby

    Gary Baker

    Product Code: BYIQC
    Hardback
    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.
    • £6.89
    • RRP £6.99
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  • How to Win: Talent Alone Is Not Enough

    Clive Woodward

    Product Code: CBWJX
    Hardback
    In his entertaining and informative new book, Sir Clive Woodward analyses the events of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, offering his unique perspective on the performance of players and coaches, from Owen Farrell and Kieran Read, to Eddie Jones and Steve Hansen. HOW TO WIN: Talent Alone is Not Enough is much more than the story of a tournament, however. It is the distillation of a philosophy of leadership developed during a lifetime in high-performance environments, from the rugby field to the boardroom. Tapping into his experience of winning the 2003 World Cup, being a part of the leadership team that delivered Olympic Success in 2012 and lessons drawn from Japan 2019, the author delivers a go-to manual in how to improve both individual and team performance in order to reach the pinnacle in sport and in business. Every individual position in rugby requires a unique set of skills, knowledge and expertise that collectively form a balanced team; the same is true in any successful business or organisation. From 1 to 15, the former England and British and Irish Lions coach identifies the key attributes and uses these defining traits to explain his collaborative 'Teamship' leadership style. With a fascinating blend of analysis, insight and anecdote, and the highs and lows of a memorable Rugby World Cup as the setting, Clive reveals how to lead the culture of a winning team - in any context.
    • £16.00
    • RRP £20.00
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  • Rugby: Talking A Good Game

    Ian Robertson

    Product Code: CBQJG
    Paperback
    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.
    • £8.79
    • RRP £10.99
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  • A Full Back Slower Than Your Average Prop

    Ian Smith

    Product Code: CAZBQ
    Hardback
    Listed as one of the five worst international selections ever, and described in a book about Scottish rugby as `a full back slower than your average prop', Ian Smith cheerfully won eight caps for Scotland in a career that saw him score every point for his team on his debut in an historic victory over South Africa (and in so doing became the first Scottish full back to score a Test try) and defeated a star-studded England team to lift the Calcutta Cup at Murrayfield in the 1970 Five Nations. One of eight international full backs to have come out of Heriot's FP, Smith also played for a dashing, innovative Edinburgh University side that revolutionised attacking back play. But this book is so much more than a story of a fleeting Test career. It is a window to another time, when a player could appear, as Smith did, for his club's third XV and two weeks later make his international debut for his country. And then, eight Tests later, return to his club where he was only considered good enough to play for the second XV.
    • £16.19
    • RRP £17.99
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  • The Strangest Rugby Quiz Book

    John Griffiths

    Product Code: BYVFH
    Paperback
    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.
    • £6.89
    • RRP £6.99
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  • Welsh Rugby 101

    John Griffiths

    Product Code: BXHAG
    Paperback
    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
    • RRP £9.99
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  • Food for Rugby

    Jane Griffin

    Product Code: BIFHS
    Paperback
    In order to maximise their performance in training and in matches, rugby players need to understand the importance of energy and nutrients and their role in the working of the body. It is also vitally important that they make appropriate food choices and that they eat and drink those foods in the correct quantities. This informative book clearly explains which foods and fluids, when consumed in the right amounts at the correct times, will help players perform to the best of their ability
    • £12.89
    • RRP £12.99
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  • Behind the Lions

    Stephen Jones

    Product Code: AWAXW
    Paperback
    For 125 years the British & Irish Lions have stood out as a peerless emblem in world sport. This unique account of the best from the four Home Nations examines every tour in the Lions' history, including the victorious 2013 tour to Hong Kong and Australia, told in the players' words. Behind the Lions sees six esteemed rugby writers from across the Home Nations delve to the heart of what it means to be a Lion, interviewing a vast array of former and current players to uncover the passion, pride and exhilaration experienced when wearing the famous red jersey. It is a tale of heart-break and ecstasy, humour and poignancy that is at once inspirational, moving and utterly compelling. This is the story of the British & Irish Lions in their own words.
    • £14.89
    • RRP £14.99
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  • Pulling the Strings

    Peter Stringer

    Product Code: AUDNI
    Paperback
    The long-awaited autobiography of Ireland's most beloved rugby player: Peter Stringer. When Peter Stringer played youth rugby, he was so small that people told his parents he shouldn't be allowed on the pitch. Fortunately for Munster and for Ireland, they paid no attention. Over 200 provincial caps and 98 international caps later, Stringer is a legend. Since making his Munster debut in 1998, his lightning-quick passing, sniping breaks and brave defending have electrified fans - never more so than when he deceived the entire Biarritz team at a scrum to sneak in for the try that brought Munster its first Heineken Cup in 2006. In Ireland's breakthrough season of 2009, his man-of-the-match performance at Murrayfield helped overturn a late deficit en route to the Six Nations Grand Slam. Now, for the first time, Peter Stringer tells his own story - a story of overcoming the odds, and a story every Irish rugby fan will want to read. "What gives the publication its grit is the scrum-half's no-holds-barred descriptions of fallings-out with various coaches...All revelatory stuff." (Liam Heagney, Irish Daily Mail).
    • £9.59
    • RRP £9.99
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  • The Grudge

    Tom English

    Product Code: CDGTP
    Hardback
    Murrayfield, the Calcutta Cup, March 1990. England vs. Scotland - winner-takes-all for the Five Nations Grand Slam, the biggest prize in northern hemisphere rugby. Will Carling's England are the very embodiment of Margaret Thatcher's Britain - snarling, brutish and all-conquering. Scotland are the underdogs - second-class citizens from a land that's become the testing ground for the most unpopular tax in living memory: Thatcher's Poll Tax. In Edinburgh, nationalism is rising high - what happens in the stadium will resound far beyond the pitch. The Grudge brilliantly recaptures a day that has gone down in history when a rugby match became more than a game. This is the real story of an extraordinary conflict, told with astounding insight and unprecedented access to key players, coaches and supporters on both sides (Will Carling, Ian McGeechan, Brian Moore and the rest). Tom English has produced a gripping account of a titanic struggle that thrusts the reader right into the heart of the action. Game on. Fully revised and updated, this special hardback edition is published to mark the thirtieth anniversary of Scotland's most storied rugby season.
    • £13.49
    • RRP £14.99
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  • 2019 Rugby Almanack

    Product Code: CCMVQ
    Paperback
    The Rugby Almanack is the world's longest running rugby book of record. It was first published in 1935 to cover the previous season's first-class rugby in New Zealand. Since then it has been published uninterrupted (apart from two combined issues during World War II). Now in its 83rd edition, the 2019 Rugby Almanack records another huge year, including the France in New Zealand, the All Blacks in the Rugby Championship and the Bledisloe Cup, plus Women's Rugby, Super Rugby, Mitre 10 Cup and Mitre 10 Championship and a full summary of sevens rugby.
    • £20.00
    • RRP £25.00
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  • Machete and the Ghost

    James Griffin

    Product Code: CCIUN
    Paperback
    Lelei Lelei Jnr (aka Machete) and Neil Turnbull (aka The Ghost) came from very different backgrounds but when they eventually found each other they became the 2nd five/centre combination that ruled world rugby. On the pitch they were an unorthodox and mostly unstoppable team. On their day, when they were on the same wavelength, they were world beaters and very possibly the two best All Blacks ever to play in their positions. Then there were the days on and off the pitch when they were like fire and ice. Theirs was a passionate friendship/kinship/borderline love affair. Sometimes they were of one mind, other times they would do things so stupid it was like they had only one mind between them. Needless to say, trouble had a way of finding them, following them and even moving in to the spare room for a while. Machete & The Ghost is the book that charts the careers of the two greatest All Blacks who never existed. It chronicles their mythical on-field achievements; tells invented stories about the behind-the-scenes goings on of professional rugby; and also makes up their troubles and triumphs off the field, in their tabloid-worthy private lives. This is the book that takes all the tropes you've read in every other rugby biography and twists and turns them for shameless comedic benefit. Machete & The Ghost totally made up, but by people who know and love the game of rugby enough to make all the bullshit sound entirely plausible.
    • £14.39
    • RRP £17.99
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  • Warren Gatland: My Autobiography

    Warren Gatland

    Product Code: CBQET
    Hardback
    'Gatland is the master' Sir Ian McGeechan 'Gatland is a coaching star' Sir Clive Woodward 'Gats is one of the all-time great coaches' Sam Warburton Warren Gatland is one of the world's most renowned and intriguing rugby coaches of the modern era, leading Wales to four Six Nations titles, three Grand Slams and a World Cup semi-final, and masterminding two history-making tours as Head Coach of the British and Irish Lions. As he leaves his post as Head Coach of Wales at the end of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, Gatland's definitive autobiography provides a colourful and vivid chronicle of an extraordinary three decades at rugby's dynamic coal-face. The personal journey has been rewarding and challenging in equal measure, spanning many of the sport's most passionate heartlands such as New Zealand, Ireland, England and Wales. Gatland reflects in characteristically forthright and intelligent fashion on a lifetime spent playing and coaching the sport which has been his passion since as a young boy he first picked up an oval ball on New Zealand's North Island, dreaming of joining the ranks of the mighty All Blacks. Along the way we encounter the greatest matches, players and rivalries the sport has to offer, get introduced to a stunning cast of unforgettable characters who grace the story with their humour and humanity, and emerge with a striking appreciation of how rugby has managed to retain its appeal for millions around the globe.
    • £17.99
    • RRP £20.00
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  • My Life and Rugby

    Eddie Jones

    Product Code: CCALG
    Hardback
    'A genuine super-coach', Stephen Jones, Sunday Times Brilliant, honest, combative - Eddie Jones is a gigantic yet enigmatic figure in world rugby and a true legend of the game. In My Life and Rugby he tells his story for the first time, including the full inside story of England's 2019 World Cup campaign. Eddie Jones is one of the most experienced and decorated coaches in world rugby. His career has spanned four World Cups: from the 2003 final, working with South Africa when they won in 2007, and causing the greatest upset in the history of the game in 2015 when he masterminded the Japanese victory over South Africa. Most recently, he led England on their incredible run at the 2019 World Cup, culminating in a stunning victory against the All Blacks before falling to South Africa in the final. Since taking over as head coach of England in 2015, Eddie Jones has orchestrated a complete revival of the national team. He has won the Six Nations Championship back-to-back, including England's first Grand Slam in a generation and their first-ever whitewash of Australia in their own backyard, as well as taking them on their longest-ever winning streak, matching the world record held by the All Blacks. Learning from the extreme highs and lows of his own playing career- including the numerous successes playing for Randwick and New South Wales but also the painful disappointment of never playing for Australia - he shows what it takes to be the best in the world and how everything he has learned about the game, both on and off the pitch, has gone into plotting England's route to the top of world rugby. Written with Donald McRae, twice winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award and three-time Sports Feature Writer of the Year, My Life and Rugby is the story of one of the most compelling and singular figures in rugby. Told with unflinching honesty, this is the ultimate rugby book for all fans of the sport.
    • £18.00
    • RRP £20.00
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  • War Games

    Howard Evans

    Product Code: CCCFB
    Paperback
    During the six years of a brutal global war - from the battlefields of Europe, to the deserts of North Africa, the jungles of the Asia and even in Prisoner of War camps - rugby union continued to be played wherever and whenever possible by the servicemen of Britain and her Allies from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, Dedicated to 'all those in rugby who did - and who didn't - make it through those troubled times', War Games is a comprehensive and highly illustrated commemoration, packed with stories and statistics that for the first time chronicles the history of rugby - the men and the matches, from `scratch' to international - during the Second World War. Starting with the short-lived 'infant' season of 1939-40 and ending with the `Victory' series of internationals in 1945-6, and including the hugely successful New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) 'Kiwi' tour of 1946, War Games details all the major rugby contests and the hundreds of players including: Bleddyn Williams, Prince Alex Obolensky, Bill McLaren, Wilf Wooller, Blair Mayne, Sir Tasker Watkins, Ralph Sampson, Gus Risman, Willie Davies, Les Manfield, Charlie Saxton, Fred Allen and Jim Sherratt. Essential and entertaining reading for followers of rugby and military historians alike, respected rugby authors Howard Evans and Phil Atkinson tell the tale - meticulously and with great affection for the game they love - of those men who played for fun but who, on too many occasions, lost more than a rugby game.
    • £23.75
    • RRP £25.00
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  • Rugby's Strangest Matches

    John Griffiths

    Product Code: BZJNB
    Hardback
    Rugby fans will delight in this astonishing collection of outlandish stories from the past 150 years of the game. Here you'll find, among many other curious events, the Irish international who arranged his marriage in order to play against England, the team of top soccer players who beat their rugby counterparts at their own game, the day the entire Wales team was sent off, and when in an astonishing turn of events underdog Japan trimphed and beat South Africa (and who doesn't love an underdog). The tales in this book are bizarre, fascinating, and, most importantly, true. This brand new edition, redesigned in splendid hardback for 2019, makes the perfect gift for the rugby obsessive in your life.
    • £7.99
    • RRP £9.99
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  • Open Side

    Sam Warburton

    Product Code: BZPCW
    Hardback
    `A terrific book. No one put their body on the line quite like Sam Warburton.' Brian O'Driscoll `It was an absolute privilege to play against Sam. An inspiring leader with an equally inspiring story to tell.' Jonny Wilkinson Sam Warburton OBE was not only a titan of Welsh rugby, but an icon of the game. Having represented his country as a player and team captain at all junior levels, he propelled himself to international attention in 2011 when named as the youngest ever captain of Wales for the Rugby World Cup. Despite his tender age, Sam's immense displays for club and country were recognised still further in April 2013, when, at just 24, he was named the Lions' captain for the extraordinary 2013 tour to Australia. Four years later, after a year `in the wilderness', Sam was named Lions' captain yet again for the historic tour to New Zealand, thereby becoming the first ever Lions Captain never to lose a series in the professional era. Intelligent, calm, thoughtful - in many ways seemingly the exact opposite of the smash and crash of modern rugby - Warburton's edge never came with his size, but with his depth of thought, his reading of movement, and his understanding that, to be a uniquely successful leader, one needs to set goals that far exceed the ambitions of even the most ferocious of opponents. In leading other men, and in pitting himself against the world's best, Warburton was forced repeatedly to push himself to the very edge of his physiological and mental limits, the 21 significant injuries over that period a painful testament to his sacrifice. Open Side is therefore not simply a chronology of events or a celebration of statistics. Written in a compelling but soul searching style, this is an astoundingly personal book exploring the nature of leadership, the value of self-control, the precision of mindset and of course the future of the game. It is also a deeply personal meditation on the sacrifice of body, the torment of injury and the pain of retirement, a decision Sam was forced to make in July 2018, at just 29 years old. Never before has a rugby autobiography given such intimate access not only to the realities of the dressing room and the heroes and villains of the modern game, but to the unique mindset required to make someone a genuinely great leader of men.
    • £17.99
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  • All In

    Jamie Heaslip

    Product Code: CAZIX
    Hardback
    Jamie Heaslip is one of the most decorated players in the history of Irish rugby. Over the course of a 13-year career, during which time he amassed 229 appearances for Leinster and 100 international caps, his name became synonymous with both the Irish number 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 frontline, Heaslip recalls the events, wisdom and personalities that helped craft his winning mindset and vault Ireland to the summit of world rugby. At once an inspiring personal memoir and insider's account of Ireland's transformation from amateur backwater to professional powerhouse, All In is an inspiring meditation on sport, leadership and what it takes to succeed in the harshest of environments.
    • £18.39
    • RRP £22.99
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  • The Invincibles

    Mark Flanagan

    Product Code: BYZKG
    Paperback
    In the autumn of 1982 a youthful Australian rugby league squad embarked on a 22-leg tour of the UK and France, with the highlight of three Test matches against Great Britain. Four years earlier the Kangaroos had won a close-fought series 2-1, and another titanic struggle was expected. But this new generation of Aussies proved extraordinarily brilliant. The likes of Mal Meninga, Brett Kenny, Eric Grothe, Wayne Pearce, Peter Sterling and Wally Lewis played an exhilarating brand of high-risk, free-flowing rugby which dazzled British fans. The tourists made history by winning every game, marking the start of a golden era for Test rugby league - and many of the Australian stars went on to enjoy successful stints playing club rugby in England, famously Meninga (St Helens), Sterling (Hull) and Kenny (Wigan). As a rugby league side the Aussies had everything, and became known as the Invincibles. This is their story, told by those who faced the challenge of tackling one of world sport's greatest ever teams.
    • £16.39
    • RRP £19.99
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  • Brothers in Black

    Jamie Wall

    Product Code: BZNQH
    Paperback
    The All Blacks have had a brilliant run of brothers in the last decade, with the Barretts, Whitelocks, Saveas and Franks, but there have also been many more standouts throughout New Zealand rugby history like the Meads, Whettons, Gears, Bachops and Brownlies. Jamie Wall writes insightfully, revealing fascinating stories and providing analysis of some of the massive changes that have occurred in New Zealand rugby over the years, while sharing great yarns about the high-profile tests that live on in every rugby fan's memory.
    • £11.99
    • RRP £14.99
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  • At Least We Turn Up

    Steve Tomlin

    Product Code: BZNCT
    Paperback
    In February 1973, the `Troubles' in Northern Ireland were at their very worst and following Bloody Sunday the previous year neither the Scotland nor Wales rugby teams would dare to travel to Ireland to play. Almost totally reliant on income from International matches, the Irish Rugby Union faced imminent bankruptcy and the Five Nations competition itself hung in the balance. What would England do? The press and public were divided on the subject and the blazers in the corridors of power at Twickenham were at first keen to go but then rather ducked the issue by `leaving it up to the individual players'. John Pullin had recently been made captain of England and had returned triumphantly from South Africa where, against all the odds, he had led England to a heroic win against the Springboks. This quietly spoken Gloucestershire farmer had established himself as the leading hooker in world rugby at the time and, having consulted his firm friend and opposing captain Willie John McBride who expressed how desperate the Irish were to stay in the family of rugby nations, he made it abundantly clear that HE was going and no less than twelve of his colleagues from the previous match followed him. They were received rapturously by the enormous crowd in Dublin and after the match, which England lost, he stood up at the dinner and uttered the immortal words 'We are not much good but at least we turn up!' It brought the house down and over forty years later he is still revered and loved in Ireland more than any other English sportsman. This is the story of this great England captain, who led his country to victory over the Springboks, the All Blacks on their home soil in Auckland, and the Wallabies, and also played for the British Lions in 1971 on the victorious tour of New Zealand.
    • £11.99
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  • A Miscellany of Rugby's World Cup

    John White

    Product Code: BZKPM
    Paperback
    A Miscellany of Rugby's World Cup (Facts, History, Statistics and Trivia 1987-2019) will transport you directly into the thrilling history of the greatest event in global rugby union. Here's a treasure trove of insider facts, fantastic feats, firsts and lasts, records and stats - covering every nation and every star player to have made their mark in a tournament now watched by 120 million fans worldwide. John White leads you through all the highs and lows and unforgettable moments from Rugby World Cup's 1995 inception, ushering in the sport's professional era, right through to Japan 2019 and the competition's ninth edition. Relive the greatest games and the finest individual performances. Compile your own Rugby World Cup Fantasy XV. Recall the captains, the record try scorers, the youngest and oldest, the longest drop goals and the strangest conversions. And every time you discover an elusive nugget and say to yourself, 'I never knew that,' rest assured John will soon enlighten you with a follow-up to leave you even more amazed. To the victor go the spoils!
    • £11.99
    • RRP £14.99
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  • Eddie Jones

    Mike Colman

    Product Code: BZJBW
    Paperback
    The first biography of the enigmatic coach who has completely transformed the England rugby team. After Eddie Jones began coaching England's rugby team, they won 22 of their next 23 matches. The side that limped out of the 2015 World Cup was thoroughly revitalised. But who was the unconventional figure responsible for this change of fortune? And, given recent setbacks, will Eddie be able to inspire England to bring their best to the 2019 World Cup? From his school days playing alongside the legendary Ella brothers to his masterminding of Japan's jaw-dropping World Cup victory over South Africa, 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, coaching colleagues and Jones himself, veteran rugby writer Mike Colman brings a rare level of insight to his biography of this singular man.
    • £9.49
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