"Football is 15" by Gordon Slatter
I am reading a cool old (1972) NZ rugby book entitled "Football is 15" by Gordon Slatter, given to me by Johnno of Keith. A few interesting excerpts from this literate and skilled writer:
"Lock forwards seem doomed to toil in obscurity. Many years ago, in the seasons when one lock held the 2-3-2 scrum together, Leo Fanning, a wise and witty Rugby writer, said that the mission of the forward was to be always to the fore in the field and to enjoy a back seat in the newspapers. He also said that the lock forward was frequently, with good warrant, the most profane man in a team."
Another quote: "One thing I am certain of is that on the way down from Masterton to see the first test of 1937 one of the men in the back of the car, a tough old freezing worker at Waingawa, told us boys that to play footie properly ...ya had to tie ya boots up tight, ya had to tie ya testicles up tight and in ya go."
"Rugby is a game of massive lies and stupendous exaggerations." - Richard Burton (the actor)
"Rugby: A game played by fifteen on one side and sixteen on the other." - Cliff Morgan (in a chapter about referees)
And finally, from the title page of the 1938 Otago Rugby Football Union Annual:
And if by mischance you should happen to fall,
There are worse things in life than a tumble on heather;
And life is itself but a game of Football.