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Rugby Books or Biographies

  • 14-11-2017 6:48pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 602 ✭✭✭ masseyno9


    This might have been asked before, and the search threw up a lot of results but seemed to be older. Want to make sure I'm not missing any current releases.

    Just about finished O' Driscoll's book (The Test) on a transatlantic flight last week and loved it. A fair few bits in there that I wouldn't have known about and gave a decent insight into aspects of his personal life and psyche that I found interesting. I'm also reading "Legacy" by James Kerr which circles around the all blacks but it's kind of a leadership type book, not as rugby focused as I had hoped. I'm looking for another rugby biography/autobiography to get into.

    I know there are a lot out there, and I've got my eye on a few so wondering if anyone has any recommendations. Not looking for something that will blow the lid off the professional rugby scene, but something that explains a bit about the personal side of things. ROG gets mentioned a bit in Drico's book, so might be interesting to read that and see what he has to say. I'm a Leinster supporter, but don't want to be confined to Leinster players, although I do think Trevor Brennan's might be worth a look.
    Any recommendations welcome!


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 111 ✭✭ basskebab


    A really good one I read was Bernard Jackman's autobiography. Gave a really honest insight into playing with concussions. Very scary how it was affecting his home life and the lengths players go to to hide it. Also some interesting tales about his relationship with Cheika and how ruthless Cheika was. Very interesting read if you're a Leinster fan

    There's a rewview of it here:
    http://www.rugbyworld.com/news/rugby-book-review-%E2%80%93-blue-blood-the-bernard-jackman-autobiography-6645


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,400 CMod ✭✭✭✭ awec


    Off the top of my head I've read:

    BOD - Boring. We had a big match at the weekend. I trained hard. I had eggs for breakfast that morning. We won the game. Training was fun. It read like a book written by someone who didn't want to give anything away that would hurt his media career. Nothing juicy in it.

    ROG - similar to BOD but a bit better.

    Sexton - dull. Not sure if he has a more recent book out but the one I read only covered like 1 season (the one before the Australia Lions tour) and for a book with such a limited time span he didn't really say much.

    Ferris - good book, some controversial stuff in there.

    POC- can't remember too much, but I think it was pretty good.


    I would say Ferris' book is probably the best I've read in terms of juicy bits and a willingness to criticise.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 17,927 Mod ✭✭✭✭ CatFromHue


    basskebab wrote: »
    A really good one I read was Bernard Jackman's autobiography. Gave a really honest insight into playing with concussions. Very scary how it was affecting his home life and the lengths players go to to hide it. Also some interesting tales about his relationship with Cheika and how ruthless Cheika was. Very interesting read if you're a Leinster fan

    There's a rewview of it here:
    http://www.rugbyworld.com/news/rugby-book-review-%E2%80%93-blue-blood-the-bernard-jackman-autobiography-6645

    It's also an account of what a book written by someone with concussion would write :pac:

    I remember Trevor Brennan's book being good, haven't read it in awhile though.

    If you can get your hands on Anthony Foley's book that's good as it bridges the amateur to pro era.


  • Registered Users Posts: 602 ✭✭✭ masseyno9


    Interesting - thanks all for the replies. I'd like to read Brennan and Foley's view of the transition from amateur to professional. ROG would be interesting. As much as I admire Sexton as a player and competitor, I don't think I'd like to read anything of his until it's a full overview of his career. Hadn't thought of Jackman, but reading a viewpoint of a (predominantly) fringe player/ not-a-superstar could be interesting too. 

    Everything mentioned so far is now on the list.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,000 ✭✭✭ kuang1


    Engage: The fall and rise of Matt Hampson.
    Ghost written by Paul Kimmage.

    One of the best books I've ever read, and the only book I've read from cover to cover within 24 hours.
    Pretty dark, but powerful stuff.

    Recently read Dan Carter's one. Very bland.
    Wouldn't recommend.

    ROG's 2nd book was awful; a list of everyone he ever played with(and some opponents)and coaches he had, followed by a nice remark about them all.
    Similar to BOD's snoozefest in that it was blatantly prioritising not ruining his future media career.

    Just read Donal Lenihan's one. Comes across as pretty honest, and betrays his failure to see where he made mistakes imo.
    But never knew he suffered the personal hardships he did. A real eye opener that way.

    The only rugby autobiography that I never finished reading was Martin Johnson's.
    My girlfriend at the time bought it for me (she knew I liked rugby and autobiographies...not her fault really!)
    Similar to Lenihan's in some ways.
    i.e. When things went well, he was central to everything. When things went wrong, it was someone else's fault.
    Nauseating!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 288 ✭✭ Buttros


    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rucks-Mauls-Gaelic-Football-Keane/dp/1903582660/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1510693578&sr=8-1&keywords=Moss+keane

    Biography on Moss Keane. Some great stories. Large parts are laugh out loud funny. Very easy read


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,564 ✭✭✭✭ Buer


    Vast majority of autobiographies from players in the past decade are utter borefests. Even the ones that have one or two interesting stories such as Jackman's are 90% mundane filler.

    Moss Keane, Matt Hampson and possibly EOS were ones that were decent books rather than a collection of recollections of mundane events. Dallaglio also actually.

    Found BOD, Sexton, Jackman, ROG, POC and, to a slight extent, Foley all bland.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,335 ✭✭✭✭ Losty Dublin


    kuang1 wrote: »
    Engage: The fall and rise of Matt Hampson.
    Ghost written by Paul Kimmage.

    One of the best books I've ever read, and the only book I've read from cover to cover within 24 hours.
    Pretty dark, but powerful stuff.

    !

    IMO it's the best rugby book period.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,098 Zoey Elegant Planetarium


    kuang1 wrote: »
    Engage: The fall and rise of Matt Hampson.
    Ghost written by Paul Kimmage.

    One of the best books I've ever read, and the only book I've read from cover to cover within 24 hours.
    Pretty dark, but powerful stuff.

    This. Buy it OP.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,649 ✭✭✭ aloooof


    +1 to The Matt Hampson book. tough but amazing read.

    Also, not a biography/autobiography but Stand Up And Fight: When Munster Beat the All Blacks by Alan English is excellent as well.

    Out of interest, has anyone read No Borders, by Tom English? It's an oral history of Irish rugby, am wondering if it's worth getting.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,000 ✭✭✭ kuang1


    aloooof wrote: »
    Out of interest, has anyone read No Borders, by Tom English? It's an oral history of Irish rugby, am wondering if it's worth getting.

    Yes.
    Read that while on holidays this summer. Very easy and enjoyable read.
    Good insight into what some Irish rugby personalities thought of each other over the years! :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,046 ✭✭✭ arsebiscuits1


    Ralas book I thoroughly enjoyed. Just a load of anecdotes. Really fun book with really fun stories


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,000 ✭✭✭ kuang1


    Ralas book I thoroughly enjoyed. Just a load of anecdotes. Really fun book with really fun stories

    Have to disagree.
    Full of anecdotes sure, but funny? I don't think I laughed once.
    Twas like every story had no punchline.
    I haven't and wouldn't recommend it.

    Edit: apologies...tbf you never said funny.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,045 ✭✭✭✭ vienne86


    Ralas book I thoroughly enjoyed. Just a load of anecdotes. Really fun book with really fun stories

    Ah no. I read it and agree with another poster that it was just a bunch of anecdotes (some of them quite silly), and not particularly amusing. I wouldn't bother with it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 415 ✭✭ Richmond Ultra


    It has been mentioned by a few already but Matt Hampson has got to be next on your list. I read it when I was 17 and was like wow this is good. I gave it to my dad recently who will happily admit he doesn't know one end of a rugby ball to another but he read this book in a weekend and was like "that is the best biography I have read".

    O'Connell's is a nice read and has a good pace but you have got to get the Hampson one.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 17,927 Mod ✭✭✭✭ CatFromHue


    Paul Kimmage wrote Hampson's and no matter what you think of him, the guy can write.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,046 ✭✭✭ arsebiscuits1


    kuang1 wrote: »
    Have to disagree.
    Full of anecdotes sure, but funny? I don't think I laughed once.
    Twas like every story had no punchline.
    I haven't and wouldn't recommend it.

    Edit: apologies...tbf you never said funny.

    Yeah it didn't have me laughing my hole off or anything, I just thought it was a nice low maintenance book that showed a different side of professional rugby.

    Don't think it would win any awards but there's worse books


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,400 CMod ✭✭✭✭ awec


    awec wrote: »
    Off the top of my head I've read:

    BOD - Boring. We had a big match at the weekend. I trained hard. I had eggs for breakfast that morning. We won the game. Training was fun. It read like a book written by someone who didn't want to give anything away that would hurt his media career. Nothing juicy in it.

    ROG - similar to BOD but a bit better.

    Sexton - dull. Not sure if he has a more recent book out but the one I read only covered like 1 season (the one before the Australia Lions tour) and for a book with such a limited time span he didn't really say much.

    Ferris - good book, some controversial stuff in there.

    POC- can't remember too much, but I think it was pretty good.


    I would say Ferris' book is probably the best I've read in terms of juicy bits and a willingness to criticise.

    Reading Heaslips book now. Definitely the most egotistical sporting biography I’ve ever read. He has a very high opinion of himself.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,576 ✭✭✭✭ partyjungle


    I think I'll get Schmidt's book when its out. I used to hang on his every word when he was the Leinster coach.


  • Registered Users Posts: 736 ✭✭✭ damianmcr


    Amount of riding Ferris and SOB did in Oz eh!


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