• Rugby football
      August 2015

      Firsts, Lasts & Onlys: Rugby

      A Truly Wonderful Collection of Rugby Trivia

      by Paul Donnelley

      Firsts, Lasts & Onlys is a rugby fan's delight, chock-full of astonishing events, time-honoured anecdotes and distinctly unlikely facts. Beginning in 1823 with an event that probably didn't happen, the book charts the history of the sport to the present day. Did you know that Wasps were not included at the formation of the Rugby Football Union because their representative went to the wrong venue and got drunk? Or that the first international was won by Scotland because the umpire, a Dr Almond, adjudged: 'When an umpire is in doubt, I think he is justified in deciding against the side which makes the most noise. They are probably in the wrong'? Do you know which was the first novel to mention rugby? When the last 20-a-side rugby match was played? Or why a fan cut off his testicles to celebrate a win? All this, and so much more.

    • Rugby football
      September 2015

      Rugby World Cup Greatest Games

      A History in 50 Matches

      by Rob Clark

      The Rugby World Cup has only been in existence since 1987, yet already it is established as the sport's premier competition - six weeks of frenzied action which entrances all the rugby-playing nations. The tournament has thrown up countless memorable matches, introduced us to amazing players and witnessed some incredible scores - from Michael Jones scoring the first World Cup try to the legendary All Blacks regaining the trophy in a titanic struggle with France 24 years later. In between we have witnessed two triumphs each for Australia and South Africa, and of course England's sole victory for a Northern Hemisphere side. To date. Relive France's spectacular wins over Australia and New Zealand; Argentina's repeated upsetting of the world order; last-minute drop goals by Joel Stransky and Jonny Wilkinson, and the sheer exuberance of the Pacific Islanders - in a Rugby World Cup history which will appeal to fans of every nation.

    • Sociology: sport & leisure
      May 2008

      The Changing Face of Rugby

      The Union Game and Professionalism since 1995

      by Editor(s): Greg Ryan

      In 1995 rugby union became the last significant international sport to sanction professionalism. To some this represented an undesirable challenge to the traditions of the game. To others the change was inevitable and overdue – an acknowledgment of both the realty of modern sport and the extent to which money had already permeated the game. While there are some commonalities in the response to professional rugby, the contributions to this book, representing almost all of the significant rugby playing countries, reveal much more that was shaped by particular local contexts both within rugby and in terms of its place within the economic, political, class and social structures of the surrounding society. The authors assess the contrasting ways in which rugby administrators at local, regional and national level grappled with the changes that were required and the demands of the corporate backers who funded the transition to professionalism. But the more contentious relationships considered are those involving the many amateur rugby players and committed fans who found that significant community and historical reference points were subtly altered or simply obliterated in the face of new commercial imperatives – and especially new competitions that separated elite players from the grassroots of the game. Some have adapted to the replacement ‘product’ with relish, others have not. Some have genuine and well articulated grievances against the processes of changes. Others have fallen victim to a nostalgia which appropriates very selective memories of the amateur past to highlight apparent problems with the professional present. Above all, these contributions provide a range of perspectives that enable the reader to take stock at a particular point in what is still a rapidly evolving game. Read in ten or twenty years, this book may confirm that many of the right paths have been taken – or it may provide pointers to crisis as yet unimagined.

    • Sociology: sport & leisure
      May 2008

      The Changing Face of Rugby

      The Union Game and Professionalism since 1995

      by Editor(s): Greg Ryan

      In 1995 rugby union became the last significant international sport to sanction professionalism. To some this represented an undesirable challenge to the traditions of the game. To others the change was inevitable and overdue – an acknowledgment of both the realty of modern sport and the extent to which money had already permeated the game. While there are some commonalities in the response to professional rugby, the contributions to this book, representing almost all of the significant rugby playing countries, reveal much more that was shaped by particular local contexts both within rugby and in terms of its place within the economic, political, class and social structures of the surrounding society. The authors assess the contrasting ways in which rugby administrators at local, regional and national level grappled with the changes that were required and the demands of the corporate backers who funded the transition to professionalism. But the more contentious relationships considered are those involving the many amateur rugby players and committed fans who found that significant community and historical reference points were subtly altered or simply obliterated in the face of new commercial imperatives – and especially new competitions that separated elite players from the grassroots of the game. Some have adapted to the replacement ‘product’ with relish, others have not. Some have genuine and well articulated grievances against the processes of changes. Others have fallen victim to a nostalgia which appropriates very selective memories of the amateur past to highlight apparent problems with the professional present. Above all, these contributions provide a range of perspectives that enable the reader to take stock at a particular point in what is still a rapidly evolving game. Read in ten or twenty years, this book may confirm that many of the right paths have been taken – or it may provide pointers to crisis as yet unimagined.

    • Diaries, letters & journals

      Welsh Rugby Diary

      by Alun Wyn. Jones

    • Autobiography: general

      Clive

      Cawr Cicio Cwmtwrch

      by Clive Rowlands

    • Sporting venues

      St Helen's Stories

      by Alun Wyn Bevan

    • Local history

      Stradey Stories

      by Alun Wyn. Bevan

    • Autobiography: sport

      Grav

      In His Own Words

      by Ray Gravell

    • Sports teams & clubs

      The Greatest Welsh Xv Ever

      by Eddie. Butler

    • Medicine

      The Psychedelic Traveller

      Short Stories

      by ANTHONY JAMES

      A collection of short stories from adventures and fantastic imaginings aroud the world. Each story is set in a different country, from Brazil to Siberia, from new Zealand to India. Each story is a cameo in itself, each one of a different mood, be it playful, or dark, of conflict or good humour. Stories will remind those who travel widely of the pitfalls and opportunities and remind all the readers that there is nothing more wonderful than this wonderful world and the ppeople in it.

    • Sporting venues

      100 YEARS OF TWICKENHAM - MICK CLEARY

      by Mick Cleary

      Billy Williams? Cabbage Patch? was bought by the RFU for just short of £5573 in 1907 and within three years it had hosted its first rugby international ? England v Wales in January 1910 in the newly expanded International Championship, the Five Nations. Now 100 years later it has become the largest dedicated rugby union venue in the world, seating 82,000 spectators, and in 2015 will host its second Rugby World Cup final. Twickenham is synonymous with the game of rugby and embodies the spirit of the game and its followers. Despite the intensity of modern-day competition, opposing fans of all ages mix freely in the stands. Banter is exchanged in the car parks and the bars, and after the drama of the game on the pitch, players shake hands while above them the colours of both sides mingle as the stadium empties. Post-match celebration and debate continue in and around the ground, but the dejection of defeat is mostly short-lived on a Twickenham evening. 100 Years of Twickenham and the Five/Six Nations Championshiptells the story of Twickenham?s relationship with international rugby?s oldest competition. Mick Cleary, rugby correspondent of The Daily Telegraph, provides the narrative, while leading rugby historian and statistician Chris Rhys provides an authoritative record of every game played in each decade of the competition plus additional records and tables. The tale begins in the early years of the championship, disrupted by two World Wars and to some extent marred by the absence of France for most of the 1930s. Nevertheless every period has its legends and this was the time of Ronnie Poulton, Wavell Wakefield and Alex Obolensky, George Stephenson of Ireland, Scotland?s Oxford Four and Welshmen Wilf Wooller, Cliff Jones and Vivian Jenkins ? great players who dominated the game in their time. In the post-war era, the championship, France and the crowds returned to Twickenham. Grand Slams were won and lost at the stadium as the game?s famous names paraded their talents in front of knowledgeable and appreciative spectators. Jackie Kyle was the inspiration for Ireland in the late 1940s; Cliff Morgan led the way for the Welsh, to be followed by the likes of Gareth Edwards, Barry John and J.P.R. Williams in the 1970s; Jean Prat and Guy Basquet brought France to the fore; Jim Aitken and David Sole enjoyed great moments for Scotland; Bill Beaumont and Will Carling led England revivals. In 2000 Italy joined the competition ? now the Six Nations ? and have already enjoyed their own special days and the talents of Diego Domínguez and Sergio Parisse. Over the past 30 years Twickenham has steadily evolved from a traditional rugby ground into a multi-purpose modern arena. But throughout all the changes it has managed to retain its special, indeed unique, atmosphere. A huge international event can still be a memorable day out for the family ? a tradition that Twickenham will carry with pride into its preparations for Rugby World Cup 2015.

    • Rugby Union
      November 2009

      Half Time

      by Owens, Nigel

      Nigel Owens is one of the best referees in world rugby. But before reaching the highest echelons of the game, he went through a personal crisis and "came out" as gay - the first to do so in the macho world of professional rugby. His bravery earned him gre

    • Biography: sport
      November 2012

      Who Beat the All Blacks?

      by Gibbard, Alun

      The day the pubs ran dry: 9-3_x000D_ It’s forty years since Llanelli Rugby Club defeated the All Blacks on 31 October 1972._x000D_ This legendary result has been called one of the top ten moments in rugby history, and possibly one of the greatest rugby upsets ever._x000D_

    • Biography: sport
      December 2012

      Shadow: The Dai Morris Story

      by Morris, Dai

      The story of legendary Dai Morris, a member of the most successful Welsh rugby team of the 1970s - a man who worked shifts in the coal mine in the morning and played for his country in the afternoon._x000D_ _x000D_ Known as "Shadow" to his contemporaries, he played f

    • Biography: sport

      Rugby Rivals

      My Top Ten Players

      by Martyn Williams

      In his 15-year career as one of the most popular figures in Welsh rugby, Martyn Williams has played against some of the giants of the sport. Known as ‘Nugget’ to the fans, Martyn has captained his country on many occasions and was a key player in two Welsh Grand Slam-winning campaigns. In Rugby Rivals he picks his personal top ten players from all the world rugby stars he’s ever played against. From Martin Johnson and Shane Williams to Jonah Lomu and Richie McCaw he gives an insight into what makes them tick and reveals what they are really like off the pitch. Rugby Rivals is a compelling read that will provoke debate among rugby fans and provide a great starting point to anyone interested in the game. Author Information Known as “Nugget”, Martyn Williams is one of the most popular figures in the rugby world. He first made his name as a young flanker for his home-town club Pontypridd in the mid-1990s.For the past 15 years has been a major player in the Welsh squad. He has featured in two Grand Slam-winning campaigns and was named Player of the Six Nations in 2005. He has captained his country on many occasions and has been on three British Lions tours, to Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. After leaving Pontypridd in 1999, he joined Cardiff Blues and has been with the club ever since. In 2010 he was granted a testimonial.

    • Rugby Union
      November 2009

      Half Time

      Nigel Owens : The Autobiography

      by Owens, Nigel

      Nigel Owens is one of the best referees in world rugby. But before reaching the highest echelons of the game, he went through a personal crisis and "came out" as gay - the first to do so in the macho world of professional rugby. His bravery earned him gre

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