Friday, 26 August 2011

RUGBY WORLD CUP book review # 1

This is the first of a series of rugby book reviews in the run-up to Rugby World Cup 2011, which runs from 9th September to 23rd October.

The Official Guide to RWC 2011 is very good. It's just what you need on the table by your armchair as you settle down to watch 48 games of rugby union over 45 days.

Like most official guides it contains the following sections, written in clear and concise English:

* a bit about New Zealand (in case you can actually afford to go an see the tournament)

* the road to the World Cup - how teams qualified

* a run down on all the teams, in pool order
(pools are the groups the teams are in during the early stages of the tournament)

* some great rugby world cup moments

* the possible star players

* a double page spread on each of the six tournaments since the first in 1987

* some frankly fascinating stats and facts for you to run through during the ad breaks, as the whole tournament is on ITV

That's what's in it. But what is it like?

It's not long-winded, but it has lots of interesting information.

The mix of text and pictures is well done and looks exciting.

It can be read as a need-to-know reference book or as a linear read.

It includes some unforgettable moments, including Mandela handing the Springbok captain the trophy in 1995 and Johhny Wilkinson's 2003 drop goal.

And... and it has a score chart to fill in!

That's it. It's very good. Full stop.

The Official Guide to the 2011 Rugby World Cup is published by Carlton Books.

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