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Kings of Rugby
50th anniversary of the 1959 Lions tour
The tour and the lives beyond
The tour and the lives beyond
Sample signed page
Kings of Rugby comes
complete with a presentation box
Players who have signed the book
WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT THIS BOOK................
wonderful book is a perfect example of what good sports
grand old march of year-by-year rugby tour books which has slowed to a
dawdle in these recent electronic days, will surge majestically back into
the publicity parade with an astonishing volume called the “Kings of
compiler, Paul Verdon, has recently built a reputation for carefully
researched heavyweight books on
has never been a
was a very alert primary school lad at the time of the tour, and over the
years the memories and his patient research have been combined in a
pleasantly flowing story-line. Freddy Allen gives the book a special
flourish in his foreword, the lay-outs are crisp and unfussy, and the
numerous colour and black-and-white photos offer continual variation
between on-field and off-field touring lives. Nor does he bypass the
occasional and quirky trivia.
of all, Verdon captures the spirit and speed of the rugby, the gallantry
between opponents, the often brilliant play of the Lions backline, the
steadfast All Black play, Don Clarke’s dramatic impact, the vast crowds
at the matches measured against small groups at far-away little stations
waiting to wave to the Lions as they passed through.
1959 Lions may have been the best side to tour
make the rugby tourists of the 21st century appear as strait-jacketed,
overpaid automatons with all their actions and plans designed by a small
army of control-freaks. No need for the 1959 Lions to have a spin doctor
as the 2005 Lions possessed. They had Tony O’Reilly and Andy Mulligan as
walk-up, genuinely funny comics if there was any distracting to be done.
No need for the modern press conference, with the rugby masters waffling
along in stage-managed rugby-speak.
those days, when T P McLean, Bryn Thomas and Vivian Jenkins led the pack,
there was contact and simple respect among the newspapermen and the
wise people maintain that the 1959 British Lions tour was the greatest,
most enjoyable, rugby expedition
quality of Verdon’s book makes this appear a very sound judgement.
- Don Cameron for the NZ Herald.
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