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Behind the Thistle – New Edition

Behind the Jersey Series, Six Nations 2016, Sport
Arena Sport
Publication Date
01 February 2016
Paperback (also available as an ebook)
Available for Sale
Birlinn Ltd

Behind the Thistle – New Edition

Playing Rugby for Scotland
by David Barnes & Peter Burns - Find out more about the author


eBook also available from the iBookstore

'Takes the reader as close to the action as it is possible to get, short of invading the pitch’ –  The Scotsman

'Really good reminiscences from hosts of Scottish rugby greats about a host of great Scotland rugby occasions. Weighty in all respects’ – Stephen Jones, Sunday Times

'In turns comic, poignant, spine-tingling and occasionally tragic, its anecdotes provide a dressing-room keyhole for those of us who could only ever dream of getting there by any other means … a gem of a book’ – Alasdair Reid, Sunday Herald

'This is a remarkable insight into what it means to play rugby for Scotland … For all those with a deep love of rugby, its contemporary sporting history and intriguing gossip this is an unmissable tome’ – Bill Lothian, Evening News

Featuring the thoughts of 175 players who have represented Scotland since the very first Test match in 1871, Behind the Thistle gives a unique insight into the drama and emotion of playing for Scotland in that most rarefied of environments – Test match rugby. From the very first game all the way through to the present day, David Barnes, Peter Burns and John Griffiths delve to the heart of Scottish rugby as Scotland’s greatest players recount the ecstasy of victory and the despair of defeat, colouring their stories with humorous anecdotes and
heart-warming memories.
Behind the Thistle provides inside access to nearly 150 years of private moments in the changing room, on tour, on the training ground, and during the tumultuous heat of battle itself, as well as the post-match antics. This is the story of what it is really like to play rugby for Scotland, revealing the sacrifices and joys experienced by those who have shed blood, sweat and tears in pursuit of glory in the navy blue jersey.
David Barnes is a freelance journalist, covering rugby for various newspapers. He is the co-author of Jim Renwick’s autobiography, Centre of Excellence, and of the bestselling Behind the Lions: Playing Rugby for the British & Irish Lions.
Peter Burns is the editor for Arena Sport and the author of White Gold: England’s Journey to World Cup Glory and a contributor to Behind the Lions: Playing Rugby for the British & Irish Lions.
John Griffiths is Britain’s foremost rugby historian and author of numerous books on the subject, including Rugby’s Strangest Matches, Rugby’s Greatest Characters and British Lions, and has worked as consultant historian on Behind the Rose: Playing Rugby for England and Behind the Lions: Playing Rugby for the British & Irish Lions.
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