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Arena Sport
Publication Date
06 November 2014
Hardback (also available as an eBook)
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Birlinn Limited

Behind the Rose

Playing Rugby for England
by Stephen Jones and Nick Cain - Find out more about the author


eBook also available from the iBookstore

'A handsome new book . . . a historical treasure trove' – Guardian

'a superb book' – ESPN Scrum

'delves to the very heart of what it means to play for England . . . a must-have' – Planet Rugby

‘A riot of anecdote, inside track and genuine insight’ – The Rugby Paper

This is a complete history of the England rugby union team – told by the players themselves. Based on a combination of painstaking research into the early years of the England team through exclusive interviews with a vast array of Test match stars from before the Second World War to the present day, world-renowned rugby writers Stephen Jones and Nick Cain delve to the very heart of the English international rugby union experience, painting a unique and utterly compelling picture of the game in the only words that can truly do so: the players’ own.

This is the definitive story of English Test match rugby – a story etched in blood, sweat and tears; a story of great joy and heart-breaking sorrow; a story of sacrifice, agony, endeavour and triumph. Behind the Rose lifts the lid on what it is to play for England – the trials and tribulations behind the scenes, the glory, the drama and the honour on the field, and the heart-warming tales of friendship and humour off it. Absorbing and illuminating, this is a must-have for all supporters who have ever dreamed of walking the hallowed corridors of Twickenham as a Test match player, preparing themselves for battle in the changing rooms and then marching out to that field of dreams with the deafening roar of the crowd in their ears and the red rose emblazoned on their chest.

Stephen Jones is a multi award-winning The Sunday Times rugby correspondent and world-renowned rugby expert. He is the author of several books on the sport, including Endless Winter: Inside Story of the Rugby Revolution which won the prestigious William Hill Sports Book of the Year award.

Nick Cain is a rugby columnist for The Sunday Times and chief writer for The Rugby Paper. He edited Rugby World magazine for nine years, and is the co-author of The Lions Diary with Jeremy Guscott and Rugby Union for Dummies.

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