Tag Archives: rugby union

Books for young rugby fans

It is a big week for rugby. League and Union.

Because Rugby League’s Superleague and Rugby Union’s Six Nations begin this weekend.

Happy days.

I like both codes. So it’s my pleasure to list eight rugby books for children that you might find useful.

Rugby Academy
Rugby Academy

Combat Zone, Surface to Air and Deadlocked are about a school rugby union team playing in fictional UK, European and World schools’ rugby championships. Union, 9+.






Scrum!Scrum. Both codes in conflict. A dad and a step dad. South v North.  League and union, 7+.





Haka Boy is about a boy who has to give a presentation to school assembly. But he is nervous. Until he witnesses the Haka. League, 5+.

ISBN 978902039251
ISBN 978902039251

The Last Try is a fictional account of Jack Harrison, the only rugby league player to win the VC during WW1. League, 9+.

rugby extraInterchange. Two brothers support rival teams. And then play for them too. Intense sibling rivalry in Hull. League, 7+.

What’s a Bear to Wear. A picture book about a mascot in crisis. League, 3+.

I hope these books sound good. You can read about other rugby books for children here.


combat zone coverOn Saturday I will host an event at Cheltenham Literature Festival. It is called Football vs Rugby. The idea is to find out which game is best.

There’ll be a quiz about different things you can read about each game, testing fans’ knowledge of their game. Then there’ll be a penalty shoot out at two different sets of posts, testing fans’ skills.

Who’ll win? I don’t know.

Which game do I want to win? I don’t know that either.

I am in a quandary, you see. I don’t know which game I like best. Football has always been my great sporting love. I have been to over 700 Leeds United games in stadiums from Scunthorpe to Real Madrid.

But something changed when I started writing the book above: Combat Zone, the first Rugby Academy book. I had to immerse myself in a game I knew less than a lot about. I went to games. I watched games on TV. I read magazines, books, websites, newspapers.

And I loved it.

To the extent that… I find it hard to say this… to the extent that… at the moment… on the balance of things… I like rugby more that I like football… perhaps…

It’s complicated. It’s guilt-ridden. I feel like I have betrayed someone, though I am not sure who.

But the evidential truth is that this season my daughter and I have season tickets at Yorkshire Carnegie, Leeds’ rugby union team and not at Leeds United.

Please join us in Cheltenham if you can. You can help me decide. Here’s the link.

Combat Zone is about a school rugby team whose players have parents in the RAF. Here’s the opening chapter.