Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective
The writing style isn’t going to shift any paradigms about athletes, but the story is what the book is really all about. The 85 times capped England back rower doesn’t pull any punches throughout the story. From his rise to England’s Captain to his fall from grace.
The books starts early in his childhood and carries all the way through his final match when the London Wasps won the Guinness Premeirship Title on May 31st, 2008. Despite his success on the rugby pitch, his life has had it’s ups and downs with a tragedy that clearly haunts him for a good portion of his life.
The book itself bounces around a little bit. It stays fairly closely to a timeline, but he often goes off on tangents before returning to the point. Dallaglio was definitely someone who never lacked words and it has carried into his writing. He covers pretty much every significant event, good or bad, of his life in detail.
The most interesting portion of the book for me is the transition that England went through when rugby went from being an amateur to a professional sport. Dallaglio does well to convey the feelings of someone who enjoyed the amateur game before being forced into professionalism. His fond recollection of his amateur days is my favorite portion of the book. Even to the end of his carreer he still carried some of the amateur rugby ethos with him. His loyalty to the London Wasps is also something that I found refreshing. We, here in the United States, are constantly bombarded with news of our favorite athletes switching teams like mercenaries to the highest bidder. Dallaglio often refers to the Wasps as family and stayed with them for his entire career. Even now, in retirement, he has taken on a management position within the club.
Also covered in detail are Dallaglio’s Lion’s and World Cup tours. Including England’s 2003 World Cup Championship buildup. His excerpts from the Lion’s Tour to South Africa are also fine reading. His love of a good time, often while on tour, is highlighted throughout the story.
A solid read for any rugby enthusiast. The book is now in paperback form and available through many online retailers such as Amazon and Borders. I got my copy for $15.99 through Borders, but waited almost two months to get it. I appears as if the price has dropped to $12.99 and some of the sites say that it ships within 48 hours.