Behind The Rose

Behind the Rose



‘A handsome new book... a historical treasure trove’ – The 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 insights’ – The Rugby Paper


Shortlisted for Rugby Book of the Year, 2015 Telegraph Sports Book of the Year Awards


This is a complete history of the England rugby union team – told by men who have donned the white shirt with its iconic red rose.

Based on a combination of painstaking research into the early years of the England team to interviews with a vast array of Test match stars from the Second World War to the present day, world-renowned rugby writers Stephen Jones and Nick Cain delve to the very heart of what it means to play for England, 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, of sacrifice, agony, endeavour and triumph. Behind the Rose lifts the lid on what it is to pull on the white shirt – 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 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.

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