This is Your Everest



'A rollicking read and a mighty achievement' – Donald McRae, twice winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award

'Magnificent . . . The pinnacle of rugby writing' – Owen Slot, The Times

'The 1997 British & Irish Lions expedition to South Africa was among the greatest of modern tours. This Is Your Everest, full of evocative memories and riveting detail, soars high above the average rugby book. Compelling stuff'– Robert Kitson, The Guardian

'brilliant and powerful . . . chock-full of fascinating insights and delicious detail' – Alan Pearey, Rugby World

‘Hard to beat stories from the horse’s mouth. Quite a stampede here. A riveting account of a ground-breaking tour’ – Brendan Fanning, The Sunday Independent 

'beautifully captured' – Alasdair Reid, The Times 

‘phenomenal’ – Alex Payne, The Good, The Bad and The Rugby

‘A brilliantly evocative recreation of the 1997 tour, put together with great skill ... rawness and emotion drips from the pages’ – Peter O’Reilly, The Times Ireland

'probably the greatest rugby book of all time' – Andy Rowe, The Rugby Pod

‘lots of witty, wonderful anecdotes from inside both camps . . . Younger rugby fans, those less familiar with the history of the tour, will really like this book, while older fans – the kind who knew and followed the outsized characters of that era – will absolutely love it’ – Cathal Dennehy, The Sunday Independent 

‘a captivating account . . . Unputdownable’ – Richard Fitzpatrick, The Irish Examiner 


The 1997 British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa is one of the most iconic in rugby history. Written off at home and abroad, Martin Johnson’s men were given no hope of success against the world champion Springboks in their own backyard. But a combination of brilliant coaching, astute selections and remarkable players laid the foundations for the touring side’s outstanding attacking mindset and brutal stonewall defence.

On the other side was a team expected to stamp their authority on the tourists and confirm their place as the best side on the planet. But with political, racial and economic scandals swirling around the Springbok camp, plus a rookie coach parachuted into office just before the tour began, the hosts were under huge pressure.

In a Test series that will go down in legend as one of the most compelling of all time, the sides could barely be separated. This is the inside story from both camps as they battle for supremacy, lifting the lid like never before as a huge cast of characters look back on those extraordinary weeks and the impact it had on their lives and careers thereafter. Hilarious, insightful and spine-chilling, Tom English and Peter Burns provide the perfect read for all Lions fans.


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William Hill Sports Book of the Year Shortlist