February and March are going to be marvellous months for rugby fans. They can also be a fantastic few weeks for rugby readers.
I’ve selected 15 different things that kids – and adults – can read about rugby to enhance their experience of the Six Nations internationals – and beyond.
1 Non-fiction books full of facts and potted history. Easy to read. Available in library as well as bookshops. In the sport section.
2 The internet. There are some excellent rugby websites out there, including all the newspapers, Sky, the BBC and more.
3 Official Magazine of the Six Nations. Available in the newsagents now.
4 Newspapers. Either on paper or online. Previews. match reports. Interviews. Speculation. Usually written by passionate rugby journalists who really care.
5 A variety of children’s fiction by authors Gerard Siggins. Chris Higgins, Tom Palmer, Dan Anthony and Andrew Smith. Again, in bookshops and libraries.
6 England Rugby magazine. The magazine is only available to online England Supporters’ Club members. But it’s good. It includes exclusive embedded videos and audio.
7 Biographies and autobiographies of rugby players. Past and present.
8 The ultimate rugby book is the IRB’s yearbook, full of stats and information about the last 12 months.
9 Match day programmes from international and domestic matches.
10 The England Rugby Annual, full of interviews and quizzes and other treats for kids. And some adults.
11 Rugby World. The best selling rugby magazine in the world. Monthly glossy. Available in white, red, blue and green. Well written.
12 Calon by Owen Sheers. Fantastic book about rugby union in Wales. Universal too.
13 Combat Zone. The first book in the new Rugby Academy series by Tom Palmer (me). Books two and three out in the spring.
14 How to play rugby books. Several levels, starting with this Know the Game book.
15 The Rugby Paper. Weekly newspaper, out on Sundays. £1.50. Match reports, politics, lots of talk about the international game. Excellent.
With just months to go up to the Rugby World Cup there is a lot to read about the game of rugby. That’s good news. No doubt there’ll be much more coming our way soon, with the tournament being hosted by England – and with games taking place in Wales too.
Happy reading, everyone. And…