My Recommended Reading: Rugby

What a Flanker: James Haskell

‘I’d like to be remembered as a player who showed that you can be incredibly professional but also a lot of fun – a bit of a joker in the changing room, but the ultimate competitor on the pitch. That should have been the subtitle of this book, really…’

One of rugby’s most ferocious flankers and biggest characters, James Haskell has had an extraordinary, global experience of the game, having played for the Wasps, Northampton and England, and in New Zealand, France and Japan. After seventeen years and with 77 international caps under his sizeable belt, he has a shitload to say about rugby life – from pitch to pub and everywhere in between.

In What A Flanker, Haskell sheds fresh light on the dynamics and the day-to-day of the game. Whether he’s recalling the most brutal team socials; dispelling the myths surrounding New Zealand’s dominance; introducing his Japanese teammates to manscaping or calling out play-acting in the modern game, no subject is off limits. Side-splittingly funny and ruthlessly honest, What A Flanker delves into the touring, drinking, training, eating and sometimes unconscionable antics of the professional rugby player. It’s an unforgettable read, even if there are some stories you’d rather forget…


The Hurt: Dylan Hartley


Rugby hurts. It demands mental resilience and resistance to pain. It explores character, beyond a capacity to endure punishment.


Dylan Hartley, one of England's most successful captains, tells a story of hard men and harsh truths. From the sixteen-year-old Kiwi who travelled alone to England, to the winner of ninety-seven international caps, he describes with brutal clarity the sport's increasing demand on players and the toll it takes on their mental health, as well as the untimely injury that shattered his dreams of leading England in the 2019 World Cup.


The Hurt is rugby in the raw, a unique insight into the price of sporting obsession.

Loose Head: Joe Marler

How to survive the force of 30 car crashes a game


What not to call Eddie Jones


Exposing the secret naked wrestling scene


The ludicrous player who bought a flash car he couldn't fit his twenty-stone behind into (er...that'll be me)


This book is not just about how I got back on my horse and went clippity-clop all the way to the World Cup final in Japan.


It's the story of how a fat kid who had to live up to the nickname Psycho grew up to play (and party) for over a decade with rugby's greatest pros. From melting opponents in tackles and propping up scrums, to losing blood, sweat and ears in the name of the great sport of rugby.

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