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Rugby Books you have enjoyed reading

  • 18-01-2020 10:39pm
    Registered Users Posts: 651 ✭✭✭Nika Bolokov

    Thought it might be interesting to spread the good word on any good rugby books you have read.

    I found Paul O'Connells biography excellent Heaslips pretty good and Rala's was gas.

    Also found the Irish Rugby Quiz Book a bit of a craic.

    Anyone got any suggestions as to what I might read next ?

    Cheers !!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,641 ✭✭✭Dog Botherer

    have been enjoying The Oval World: A Global History of Rugby by Tony Collins. very informative and well researched.

  • Registered Users Posts: 651 ✭✭✭Nika Bolokov

    have been enjoying The Oval World: A Global History of Rugby by Tony Collins. very informative and well researched.

    Sounds like just the thing I'm looking for . Cheers !

  • Registered Users Posts: 285 ✭✭daphil

    Heroics & Heart Break By Jamie Wall

    (12 Months, including the world cup, with the All Blacks).
    Although mainly about the All Blacks, it gives an insight in rugby just below the top tier.
    In NZ at the moment and this book is a bit of an eye opener, all is not well.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,680 ✭✭✭Mysterypunter

    Read Trevor Brennan's book years ago, was very good, but can't remember much about it, except he was playing in France and running a pub. He was in the news around the time for chinning an Ulster fan.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,374 ✭✭✭moby2101

    Johnny Wilkinson's book is a really good read. RoG'sbook is ok. I thought Paulies book was awful

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,850 ✭✭✭jacothelad

    Tales From The Back Of The Bus...A collection of memories of Lions tours by the players. (edited by Stuart McKinney ) Very good read and the proc3eds went to rugby charity.

  • Registered Users Posts: 651 ✭✭✭Nika Bolokov

    Any good South African ones does anyone know ?

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,583 ✭✭✭✭Squidgy Black

    Sevens heaven by Ben Ryan on the story of Fiji at the Olympics was a great read. The whole backstory behind that Fijian team is just mind-blowing

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,963 ✭✭✭Digifriendly

    Pity the World Rugby Yearbook stopped after 2016. There were a number of different publishers dating right back to 1972 afaik when Rothmans first published it. Great reference book for statistics and I do miss it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,176 ✭✭✭Boscoirl

    Ian McGeechans is the only one I have enjoyed. I find players books extremely boring.

    The life of a professional rugby player is not that exciting.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 651 ✭✭✭Nika Bolokov

    Never thought of reading coaches books will give his a look.

  • Registered Users Posts: 286 ✭✭RuPi

    Any good South African ones does anyone know ?

    Joost VD Westheuisins was very good and open and honest, John Smit's also, I got them when I was in SA though so not sure how easy to get.

    Would echo the tales from the back of the bus - excellent read with some brilliant stories - the follow up wasn't quite so good.

    A lot of the modern players books are very samey with very few divulging much to capture the imagination. I found the book written about Lancaster - 'The house that Lancaster built'? and the World Cup interesting but most of those stories have now been told in newspaper articles since he went to Leinster.

    Engage by Matt Hampson was a good read.

    Haven't got round to reading the Doddie Weir books but I imagine they would have a few good stories.

  • Registered Users Posts: 651 ✭✭✭Nika Bolokov

    Yeah the Doddie Weir books would definitly be worth a read

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,208 ✭✭✭shotgunmcos

    Jonah Lomu's Auto Bio (RIP Big Man)

  • Registered Users Posts: 16 AirGuitarist

    No Borders by Tom English is worth a read if you're into the politics around Irish Rugby

  • Posts: 0 Decker Rich Camp

    Stuck at home with Covid, so getting around to reading some rugby books I'd received as gifts but hadn't opened.

    I would echo what a previous poster said, thought No Borders by Tom English was an interesting read. I also found Pat McCarry's book, The New Breed (on Irish rugby in the pro era) relatively interesting.

    I've read of player and some coach autobiographies and generally find them quite poor and lacking any real insight. Found O'Connell, O'Driscoll and O'Gara's books all kind of boring; felt they all obviously kept a lot back. Trevor Brennan's was a good read. Haven't had a chance to read Keith Earls' yet but have heard good things.

    The one I picked up this weekend as I'd been ignoring it is Warren Gatland's book, In the Line of Fire. It's not really autobiographical to a great degree, focuses mostly on the Lions tour in 2017, but some interesting nuggets in it so far.

    After this my next one to read will be Tom English & Peter Burns' book This is Your Everest, on the '97 Lions tour to SA.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,398 ✭✭✭arsebiscuits1

    It's an extremely easy read but I really liked Ralas book.

    All players books tended to gravitate to a type of narrative and I feel its just because of how they operate. Even the good ones are quite linear.

    Ralas book is a bit different and full of very interesting stories and anecdotes. Given his career as bagman spanned a lot longer than any rugby players career there is a bigger window for stories too.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,133 ✭✭✭StevenToast

    I read Mick Galweys book once.....absolute muck...

    Put me off Rugby books forever...

    "Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining." - Fletcher

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,044 ✭✭✭sprucemoose

    No Helmets Required is very interesting if a bit long, its about the 'american' team that travelled to australia in the 50s to play rugby league despite having no knowledge of the game. seems crazy now but the guy in charge of the tour basically bluffed his way in organising it and claimed league was big in the states

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,321 ✭✭✭Jump_In_Jack

    The Keith Earls book was very good I thought, probably because he revealed a lot of detail about his struggles with education, depression and injury.

    It also explained a lot about his speed, which I found illuminating, and his understanding with coaches, Schmidt, Farrell and all the Munster coaches over the years.

    A lot of that was not publicised beforehand and would not have been widely known. I truly get the feeling the book is about getting a lot of stuff off his chest in the hope it helps him and also people that may struggle themselves to take inspiration from his story.

    He is a fascinating guy, down to earth, family man, shies away from the limelight, basically someone who after reading the book I had an urge to want to meet him for a coffee!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,671 ✭✭✭✭Losty Dublin

    Engage; the Matt Hampston story by Paul Kimmage is easily the best rugby book I've read. You'll pick it up handily enough for a few € but it is worth every penny.

  • Posts: 0 Decker Rich Camp

    Yeah, read this years ago, it's a great read. Inspirational guy.

    JPR Williams' autobiography a fascinating read as well. Fascinating life in addition to an incredible rugby career.

  • Posts: 0 Decker Rich Camp

    Just finished the book I mentioned at the end of the above comment, Tom English and Peter Burns' work called This is Your Everest, the story of the Lions tour to South Africa in 1997.

    One of the absolute best rugby books I've ever read.

    I generally find some of the books of tours from the amateur era fascinating, but this has big tinges of that given rugby had just gone professional, in addition to having incredibly interesting passages on the environment in South Africa at the time, the politics in their rugby etc.

    I would highly recommend.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,169 ✭✭✭RichieRich_89

    The only ones I can think of are Rugby Skills, Tactics and Rules: The New Zealand Way by Tony Williams and Gordon Hunter and that O'Driscoll book from '05/'06 A Year in the Centre. Definitely not BOD's autobiography. The only thing that would be good for would be lighting a fire or something. Can't believe I wasted so much time actually finishing reading it.

  • Posts: 0 Decker Rich Camp

    Just finished Ian McKinley's book, Second Sight, which was written along with Gerry Thornley. One of the most interesting autobiographies I've read from a player in quite some time.

  • Registered Users Posts: 554 ✭✭✭supernova5

    Willie Anderson's Crossing the Line is very good