Behind the Thistle

Behind the Thistle



'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 

'A fascinating new perspective brought to life in the players' own words . . . a terrific read for any rugby fan' - Alan Pearey, Rugby World


Featuring the thoughts of more than 180 players who have represented Scotland since the very first Test match in 1871 all the way through to the present day, 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. 

In this exhaustively research tome, David Barnes and Peter Burns provide inside access to more than 150 years of private moments in the changing room, on tour, on the training ground, during the tumultuous heat of battle itself, and lift the lid on numerous post-match antics. 

This is the story of what it is really like to play 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.


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