Weighing in at a chunky 299 pages, this new rugby book has been released just in time for the Rugby World Cup later in the year.
It comes with the strap-line “Everything you need to know about the Rugby World Cup” and your reviewer found it more than delivers on this promise, with enough facts and figures to keep even our own statto Kevin Millar happy, as well as stories, jokes and reviews of previous tournaments that will appeal to the “non-excel” based fans of the sport to give a good overview.
Full disclosure: I must make clear that Keith Earls is on the front cover. I have done my absolute best to ensure that this did not damage in any way my enjoyment of the content within. Please read on.
The author, Graeme Copas, has ensured that the content is accessible for fans who are relatively new to the sport, whilst still maintaining a level of detail that will interest veterans of previous tournaments.
Even if you think you know everything about the RWC – you probably don’t!
Die-hard Scotland fans will have a particular interest in the reference (or lack thereof) to the 1991 semi-final, with a certain miss in front of the posts glossed over.
As a fan it is quite galling to actually realise how little Scotland have done of interest at previous Rugby World Cups, with only our 2015 quarter-final covered in any great detail for obvious reasons that we will not repeat happy retirement ‘He who shall not be named’).
My favourite bit of the book, however, was the obligatory walk-through of each of the teams ahead of the current tournament. Scotland are given a fair crack, with seven pages given over to analysis of our chances (New Zealand have nine), and with the obvious individuals singled out as key components.
Overall you can see that a fair bit of research has gone into each of the sides which gives the book a level of authenticity befitting the bold strap-line mentioned previously.
In summary, if I was a commentator on a RWC pool match, or a casual observer looking to understand what a ‘sin-bin’ or a ‘Zinzan’ was, there is something in this book to suit most tastes.
‘Everything you need to know about the Rugby World Cup’ – completed it mate.
You can get a copy of the book from the link below:
(NB: the site may get a small commission should you do so. Review copy supplied by the publisher)