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Winter Colours: Changing Seasons in World Rugby

Donald McRae

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ISBN 10: 1851589945 / ISBN 13: 9781851589944
Published by Mainstream Publishing, 1998
Condition: Good Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Winter Colours: Changing Seasons in World ...

Publisher: Mainstream Publishing

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Good

About this title

Synopsis:

This volume explores how rugby is played and revered in different countries and cultures. The book unfolds in the space of two years, from September 1996 to August 1998, as McRae travels across the hemispheres, moving from Britain and France to the New World, comparing the game at club, provincial and national levels. The book begins in the South Africa of McRae's youth where rugby was a byword for Apartheid. It covers the tours of the All Blacks and The British Lions in the "new" South Africa, crosses France, Britain and Ireland in the company of the Springboks and Wallabies, and ends up in New Zealand and Australia with the English and Welsh teams.

Review:

Donald McRae visits the training camp of the New Zealand All Blacks near the beginning of this engrossing journey through the personalities, cultures and politics of world rugby. Before he has even introduced us to his legendary hosts, McRae makes sure we understand their violence and power:

A new scrum machine glistened in the sunlight. The huge contraption, so silently monstrous only thirty minutes earlier, had been reduced to a quivering chorus of squeaks and hisses. It had been subjected to a terrible grinding. Feather slivers of foam floated above it, separated from their casing by the battering. You could not miss the deep and wide indentations the three-headed front row had formed in the sighing leather cushions.
Winter Colours is a bravura performance. McRae travels beyond his passion for his native South African Springboks and away from his adopted London home. He appears equally assured in the living rooms of some of the sport's great personalities--Lawrence Dallaglio, Jonah Lomu and James Small, among a long list--or exploring the machinations of its exasperating politicians. He takes us from the sometimes-shocking violence of front-row forwards ("Fitzpatrick took out his mouthguard, spat out three teeth and the slipped the suddenly crimson shield back") to the electric, beautiful running of backs such as Christian Cullen. --Chris Bunting

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