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    Rugby Book query

    Long shot but has anyone ever seen an English translation of this book? http://www.amazon.ca/Rugby-lesprit-c.../dp/2708954148

    #2
    Rugby Book query

    I think I can safely say that I've never read a good book on rugby. So if this is good I might even have a crack at it in French.

    Are there any other decent rugby books? I don't mind a bit of eggchasing so I'd be up for it. I've read superb books on football, cricket, boxing, cycling, ice hockey, baseball and American football, and even (for fack's sake) golf, but either I'm choosing wrong or good rugby books are exceptionally thin on the ground. Something from South Wales or New Zealand, maybe? Or a good League book from t'North or Oz?

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      #3
      Rugby Book query

      THere's a couple of books that I have given my Dad (Muddy Oafs etc). I shall ask him if they were any good, unless they are gathering dust on his bedside table.

      Another one on French rugby is Inside French Rugby: Confessions of a Kiwi Mercenary by John Daniell and there is one on French rugby League called The Forbidden Game: The Untold Story of French Rugby League by Mike Rylance but I have read neither so couldn't tell you what they are like

      I wanted the first one as it is specifically about the Toulouse and Biaritz area I think

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        #4
        Rugby Book query

        Just from the title and cover page, it seems rather broader than that. The author is the doyen of French (and World) academic rugby historians, and has written about half a dozen books on various aspects of the game, none of which appear to have be translated.

        There is an interesting post (in English) discussing an academic conference that referenced his work here.

        Comment


          #5
          Rugby Book query

          I have bought a handful of rugby books but I don't think I have ever got round to reading one in it's entirety. Like WE says above I have read and enjoyed far more books on football, boxing, golf, gridiron, baseball and others despite rugby actually being my second favourite sport.

          Actually, I think I might have managed all of 'Heart and Soul- The character of Welsh Rugby' over the years as it is a series of essays. I'm hoping Eddie Butler sits down and writes a major book as opposed to the odd ghosting job he's done in the past, that would be good.

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            #6
            Rugby Book query

            Wyatt Earp wrote:
            I think I can safely say that I've never read a good book on rugby.
            Winter Colours by Donald McRae is good, though he disgraces himself by relentlessly brown-nosing the vile James Small.

            Also worth a read, if you're remotely interested in Irish rugby (i.e. the national team and the big provinces' adventures in the Heineken Cup) is From There To Here by Brendan Fanning. It was written before the 2007 World Cup debacle though.

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              #7
              Rugby Book query

              Funnily enough, I was looking at Winter Colours for my Dad this morning. I got him "Bring Me The Head Of Sergio Garcia" instead

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                #8
                Rugby Book query

                The Forbidden Game: The Untold Story of French Rugby League by Mike Rylance
                If this is the one I'm thinking of, it's got lot of ranting against Vichy France and how Rugby Nazi Union destroyed League in France, the greatest war crime perpetrated by the regime, another chip to the already mightily weighed down shoulder of League internet hardnuts everywhere.

                If you want some decent biographies, I suggest Jason Leonard's Full Time, which is great because of the span of his career from amateur to full time professionalism, Will Greenwood's imaginatively titled Will, which has good stuff about him living as a kid in Rome and losing his first baby (and nearly his second) amongst all the usual stuff.

                Or, for a study of a man interesting not just because he played in a long distant pre-WW1 game, but also for all the other aspects of his life, try Immortal Harlequin: The Story of Adrian Stoop (yes, as in The Stoop where Quins play).

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                  #9
                  Rugby Book query

                  From what reviews I have read, you are correct about the rugby league book, eggchaser

                  I don't really want a biography, I want an overview of French rugby, specifically Southern French rugby, specifically specifically Basque rugby.

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                    #10
                    Rugby Book query

                    At its roots, Basque rugby is League, Bored. Called Jeu a XIII in French.

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                      #11
                      Rugby Book query

                      The whole idea of rugby auto-biographies just makes me shudder. I was bought the JPR one for Xmas and am worried about even that one.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Rugby Book query

                        I thought round Perpignan was the heartland of Treize. You're not mixing up your Basques and your Catalans, at all?

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                          #13
                          Rugby Book query

                          Eddie Butler's book on the 2001 Lions Tour is decent. I can't think of any other outstanding non-biographical efforts.

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                            #14
                            Rugby Book query

                            Of course, if we're widening the net here to documentaries, then Living with Lions quite frankly shits on virtually every other sports documentary every made and is up there with the heavyweight contenders as best ever. It's got the lot; the last throes of amateurism dovetailing into the bright new world of professionalism, the returning Union-to-League-to-Union players, a proper tour spirit, great games, some great and talented players on both sides, an almost fatal injury and some genuinely funny moments.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Rugby Book query

                              Wyatt, just saw your question.

                              Yes, Perpignan (and the Languedoc in general) is the heartland of Treize, but I was led to understand that the Basques also preferred League before it was banned during Vichy (and that Biarritz playing Union had more to do with the strong British influence there than any local preference).

                              Of course, that might have been XIIIiste propaganda, but I heard the story on both sides of the Pyrenees.

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Rugby Book query

                                There's also the likes of Aviron Bayonnais, of course.

                                I'm not sure about this pre-Vichy stuff. French clubs pretty well all stayed with Union after the 1895 split in England, and League only really began to grow after the Home Unions had sent the French Union to Coventry. Meaning that the pre-Vichy League period in France was, essentially, just the 1930s. It's impossible to say how things would have developed without the Vichy ban, but given the eventual rapprochement within Union.

                                All we know is that what actually did happen is that League fell off rather in the Pays Basquais, while holding its own rather better in the Eastern and Central Pyrenees. I'm not even sure that League isn't, these days, better represented along the Mediterannean coast than it is in the Western Pyrenees and Cote d'Azure. I could be wrong about that, though.

                                In any case, given the brevity of the history, I don't think any French region can really claim to have a pre-Vichy tradition of League, though the game certainly acquired a political (specifically, a left-wing) significance during the 30s.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Rugby Book query

                                  I'd love to learn more about this history, you know. Like, how come Marseille ended up so very much a football enclave in the middle of rugbyland. And stuff.

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Rugby Book query

                                    And you clearly know more about this than I do.

                                    Wiki en francais tells us that the original clubs in the first French league (1934) were: SA Villeneuve-sur-Lot, RC Albi, Bordeaux XIII, SO Béziers, XIII Catalan (Perpignan), Côte Basque (Anglet-Bayonne), RC Roanne, US Lyon-Villeurbanne, Pau XIII et Paris XIII. So there was in fact a Basque team, and what now looks like surprising geographic reach.

                                    The current league (sans Catalan Dragons) is much more geographically concentrated: (and not terribly coastal):

                                    Racing Club Albi XIII
                                    AS Carcassonne XIII
                                    RC Carpentras XIII
                                    FC Lézignan
                                    XIII Limouxin
                                    Lyon Villeurbanne Rhône XIII
                                    Salanque Méditerranée Pia XIII
                                    Ours de Saint-Gaudens XIII Comminges
                                    Toulouse Olympique XIII
                                    Union Treiziste Catalane
                                    Villeneuve XIII Rugby League

                                    As to Marseilles, I always understood its preference for football to relate to its being a port that was always home to a significant number of foreigners and has always identified more with the likes of Genoa and Barcelona than Montpellier, Toulon or Cannes. The large influx of both pieds noirs and "native" Mahgrebins after the Algerian war only accentuated those tendancies.

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Rugby Book query

                                      I don't really want a biography, I want an overview of French rugby

                                      It's not just French rugby, but try Un siècle de rugby. These Calmann-Levy books are the business; the equivalent book on cycling is wonderful.

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Rugby Book query

                                        A number of us have praised their absolutely superb Cycling volume on here before. Kuhisek was the first one to mention it, if I recall correctly.

                                        If the rugby one is half as good, it is well worth buying.

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