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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.
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.
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.
The Catalan Dragons' stunning 2018 Wembley Challenge Cup victory came against a backdrop of well over half a century of both triumph and turbulence in French rugby league. Re-emerging from the iniquitous ban under the Vichy government, le rugby a treize was rebuilt from scratch after World War II - so successfully that the Tricolores were recognized as unofficial world champions after their dazzling, ground-breaking tour of Australia, and were at the forefront of international innovation, including the World Cup. Together with the acclaimed 'The Forbidden Game', which explored the story of the Vichy ban, 'The Struggle and the Daring' makes up the first-ever complete history of French rugby league. Based on extensive research and interviews, the book highlights the many great players France has produced and analyses key events as the game emerged from the chaos of post-Liberation France, continued to grapple with the threat posed by rugby union and, after a long decline, returned to the mainstream of professional rugby league.
The book tells the story of East Yorkshire rugby-league club Hull Kingston Rovers through the eyes of 20 of the greatest heroes in their history. The legends - stars such as Jack Spamer, Cyril Kellett, Roger Millward and George Fairbairn - are featured in chronological order and date from the early 20th century to the early 21st century. It includes interviews with 18 of the legends or their families and close friends and they relate their first-hand experiences of most of the successful phases in the club's history. The 20 stories also feature involvements in representative and international rugby league and other intriguing sub-plots because of the chosen legends' links with Hull's maritime industry, East Yorkshire's fruit trade, other sports - particularly rugby union and boxing - and the music industry.
They were among the sporting elite of 1914 - the stars of the Northern Union - idolised by thousands of enthusiastic men, women and children up and down the land. Yet despite their heroic status in what was soon to become known as rugby league, these warriors of the playing field were willing to sacrifice their careers - and then lives - on the World War One killing fields, for King and Country. Other sports have honoured their Great War fallen over these past 100 years, producing Rolls of Honour to ensure that their ultimate bravery is never forgotten; not so rugby league - until now. The Greatest Sacrifice - Fallen Heroes of the Northern Union - rights that wrong. It tells the story of talented sportsmen who, when war was declared on 4 August 1914, duly departed for France, Belgium and beyond, never again to see the rugby league towns and grounds they once so famously graced. Among those who fell were three members of Great Britain's 1914 summer tour to Australia and New Zealand. A number of other former internationals died too, as did many more who had earned top domestic honours with their clubs. Some of the youngest players were just embarking on professional careers and therefore never able to fulfil their potential. Each player featured has a different tale to tell - from childhood to rugby stardom to enlistment into the British Army and, finally, the greatest sacrifice of all.
For 125 years the British & Irish Lions have stood out as a unique emblem in world sport. They represent the best of the best from the four Home Nations, coming together every four years under a united badge to take on the rugby greats of the Southern Hemisphere. Lions tours embody a revered legacy that is steeped in tradition yet maintains a vibrant standing in the modern era. The Lions badge is a symbol of the ethics, values and the romance at the heart of Test match rugby. Every four years the rugby world's focus is drawn to a great red pilgrimage as the Lions embark on a brutal and exhilarating tour that challenges the very limits of their rugby ability and the strengths of their characters. They travel to the far reaches of the earth to confront the great powers in the world game - and the weight of history itself. Behind the Lions sees four esteemed rugby writers from each of the Home Nations delve to the heart of what it means to be a Lion, interviewing a vast array of former tourists 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.
Fans of National Rugby League across the nation watched in fascination as Queensland, with it's mix of top players from across NRL, overran NSW for 8 long years of the Origin series-an achievement that will probably never be repeated. Game by game The Streak breaks down the reasons why Queensland dominated for so long. Paul Connolly examines Mal Meninga's coaching contribution and how NSW failed to outgun him. It looks at the line up of top players, that included the cream of rugby league: Billy Slater, Cooper Crank, Greg Inglis, Jonathan Thurston, Steve Price, Steve Thaiday, Israel Falou and all the others. It also picks over the controversies and turning points that made the series so memorable. Queensland dominated for nearly a decade and NSW came agonisingly close many times. But the crown stayed with the Maroons for 8 long years. An in-depth, vividly illustrated exploration of the How and Why behind Queensland's winning streak, The Streak will delight fans of NRL Australia-wide.
Wartime and the scholarship to Grammar Schools allowed access to Rugby Union, an amateur game played by gentlemen in Rugby Clubs like Liverpool and Blackheath. Since the schism with Rugby League in 1895 the antipathy between the two codes was stark. Peter Harvey's story opened the door for hundreds of boys from Lancashire to play for England Schools. However, the suggestion that he might go to Rugby League was enough to prevent selection for England. The story of how this happened, and his subsequent success as a semi-professional rugby player, reaches its climax in Championships and Challenge Cups with the great St Helens RL side of the 1960s. Running parallel to this story is the training necessary to become a teacher and head teacher, and those people who helped me on that journey. The final chapters tell of rugby stars of the 1960s who he played with or against and the subsequent joys and fellowships of past players associations. It is a unique view of social history from coalmine to classroom, 1940 to present.
The late Terry Newton sparked controversy from his earliest days in rugby league. Initially signing at 14 for Warrington, he also signed for Leeds on his 16th birthday, missing the entire Centenary season until Leeds won the resulting tribunal. A phenomenal hooker for Leeds, Terry went on to star for Wigan, Great Britain, Bradford and finally Wakefield. Coming Clean is the startlingly frank yet honest story of the highs and lows of Terry's career and life, from his tough upbringing in Worsley Mesnes, through rugby league success to the recent tragic death of his sister and his own career-ending drugs ban. Now notorious as the first ever sports person to test positive for taking the banned drug Human Growth Hormone, Terry explains what drove a star player to end a glittering career in such a cloud of controversy. Love or hate the bad boy of rugby league, his story will make you laugh, cry and feel despair in equal measures. This new edition includes a tribute from Terry's father Tony Newton.
The Leeds Rhinos Miscellany - a book like no other, packed with facts, stats, trivia, stories and legends. If you want to know the record crowd for a home game, the record appearance holder or longest-serving player, look no further; this is the book you've been waiting for. From record try-scorers to record defeats - it's all here. Full of humour, quotes, anecdotes and more.
Hunslet RLFC is once one of the biggest names in Rugby League. The Hawks have a long and proud history, including many epic matches, and this book features 50 of them, including the match that sealed the All Four Cups success in 1908, the 1938 Championship final over arch-rivals Leeds and the 1965 Challenge Cup final.
True Professional tells the story of Clive Sullivan, who emerged from one of Cardiff's toughest neighbourhoods to become an icon of rugby league. Overcoming a major childhood injury and a car crash early in his career, he was a ruthless and thrilling presence on the wings of both Hull FC and Hull KR teams for over 20 years, scoring over 300 tries.The first-ever black Briton to captain a British sports team, Sullivan did so with great success, even lifting a World Cup and being awarded an MBE. He was loved by rugby league fans and revered following his untimely and tragic death. Yet the wider sporting public overlooked his achievements at the time and his name is rarely mentioned when discussing Britain's sporting greats. The book is a snapshot of the working class Northern towns that have long been the heartland of rugby league, and the communities that gave them their unique character. It is also a look at how Clive's career developed against the backdrop of a declining fishing industry, the lifeblood of the city of Hull.
This title is Eddie Waring's personal take on some of the greatest rugby league players of all time written in his own idiosyncratic and entertaining style.
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