The East Terrace - For the rugby football enthusiast

Rugby Fitness Training: A Twelve-Month Conditioning Programme

Ben Wilson
Rugby Fitness Training
Published by Crowood Press

By Ben Wilson

Our September Book of the Month has picked up its award for a number of reasons. Firstly, it’s a fitness book which is illustrated in a manner that shouldn’t be too embarrassing ten years down the line. For whatever reason, the models publishers usually use for fitness books tend to be complete fashion disasters. Ben Wilson’s book manages to avoid that pitfall, which is to be heartily applauded.

More importantly, the book gets the balance of sport science and practical advice just about right. It means both the sports science student and the committed amateur player can equally draw from the title.

Wilson opens the book with a chapter on ‘Fitness Fundamentals’ that clearly explains the need to understand how your body works before you attempt to try and become the next Richie McCaw. Wilson should be commended for putting this information in such a way as to get the facts over without dazzling and blinding the uniformed reader with science and not patronising those readers who perhaps have more understanding of the topic.

The book can be used by both players and coaches as a reference when looking for inspiration for new training ideas or drills. For the more committed player the book presents a ten-step model that allows the reader to formulate their own twelve-month training programme.

There could have been perhaps a bit more clear information on how an injured player coming back midseason should begin designing a fitness programme for their needs, but otherwise this is a solid book. As always with fitness books, the reader gets out what they put it. But this is as good as any a place to start for rugby folk.

101 Years of All Black Trivia: Fascinating Facts and Foibles

Graham Hutchins
All Black Trivia
Published by HarperSports NZ

By Graham Hutchins

‘Charles Edward Quaid, an All Black in 1938, is the only player with a surname starting with Q to have represented New Zealand.’

Did you know that? Did you care? Well, your answer to that question will probably have a large bearing on whether Graham Hutchins’ new book will hold much appeal for you.

101 Years of All Black Trivia is quirky little title. It’s the kind of book that tends to only appeal to males; being full of, in turn, the most random, useless, interesting and bizarre facts of a century of All Black rugby.

But it’s also the kind of book once you pick up you may find, infuriatingly, you can’t put it down for a while. You’ll find yourself planning to read ‘just one more’ snippet of trivia and end up reading another fifty.

The author has even compiled a bit of trivia on every single player to have been capped for the All Blacks, some entries more interesting than others!

It’s good fun, to be taken in jest and does exactly what it says on the tin.

Ideal stocking filler for a rugby nut this Christmas.