Being good at any sport – let alone becoming a professional – demands an enormous amount of self-discipline and sacrifice. This is especially true of Rugby Union, where the training – both on and off the pitch – can be gruelling. And as rugby players embark on their professional careers at an ever earlier age, getting the balance right between commitments at school and university, on the one hand, and their chosen sport, on the other, can be very hard to achieve. No wonder, then, that so many talented players fall by the wayside.
In a series of candid, entertaining interviews, Ian Smith – a former coach with the Newcastle Falcons and today the club’s Education and Welfare Officer – talks to some of the leading players in the game today – including Steve Borthwick, Geordan Murphy, Chris Paterson and Martyn Williams. The players talk about how they got into the game, how they got their first big break and about everything from pre-match nerves to boisterous post-match celebrations. Many of them undertook university studies while playing for a club and they speak frankly about the sacrifices they have sometimes had to make in their personal lives. Most of all, however, they wax lyrical about the rewards – the sense of pride in their achievements, the camaraderie among players and their sheer pleasure in the game.
For rugby enthusiasts everywhere, this book offers revealing, fascinating insights into some of our greatest sportsmen. For today’s aspiring young players this is an inspirational must-read.
Interviews with: • Andrew Sheridan • Rory Best • Carl Hayman • Hugh Vyvyan • Steve Borthwick • Martin Corry • Martyn Williams • Nick Easter • Mike Blair • Toby Flood • Chris Paterson • Jamie Roberts • Mathew Tait • Shane Horgan • Geordan Murphy