Planet Rugby

Book review: Blue Blood

07th April 2011 18:10

Share:

Bernard Jackman

Bernard Jackman: Leinster through and through

Ahead this weekend's Heineken Cup quarter-finals we review former Leinster hooker Bernard Jackman's eye-opening autobiography, "Blue Blood."

As it's subtitle suggests, Blue Blood: The Inside story of Leinster in the Cheika years and has an original format in that it alternates between telling the story of Jackman's thirteen-year long career and extracts from his diary during Leinster's victorious 2008/2009 Heinken Cup campaign and their unsuccessful title defence the following season.

Blue Blood is no literary masterpiece, but it certainly reminds the reader that top rugby players and coaches are still human beings whose lives extend beyond the 80 minutes we witness on a Saturday afternoon.

Books about how trophies were won are dime a dozen but what makes Blue Blood interesting is its insight into how painful defeat can be as Jackman offers an insider's perspective on the personal and professional pressures that pile up when things aren't going right.

'Painful' is the appropriate word as the author is brutally honest is his description of his mind-boggling string of concussions and knee injuries but also his ultimate fall-out with Leinster Head Coach Michael Cheika.

The Irish international's relationship with his boss is central to the saga and reading this book gives you plenty of food for thought when it comes to unseen dynamics in team selection and the personal and team politics that go with it.

Jackman lives and breathes for Leinster rugby and through the highs and lows of two seasons, there is also a mention for their great rivals - Munster. Victory is always sweater if Munster happen to lose on the same weekend and vice versa.

There are plenty of anecdotes and stories about players past and present. From local heroes Brian O'Drsicoll and Jonny Sexton to ''imports' like Ollie le Roux and Isa Nacewa, Blue Blood offers fans of Irish rugby a glimpse behind the scenes of the Magners League and the Irish national team.

You're a fast reader, you could finish Blue Blood off in a weekend but you could just as easily read a chapter per week and enjoy it in parallel to a European campaign.

Blue Blood
Published by: Irish Sports Publishing
ISBN: 978-0-9563598-2-7

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne vs MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle vs Toulouse14:45
Castres vs Bayonne18:30
Lyon vs Brive18:30
Oyonnax vs Stade Francais18:30
Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 29
Pumas vs SharksPumas vs Sharks Preview
Saturday , August 30
Griquas vs Cheetahs15:00
Blue Bulls vs Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Preview
Eastern Province Kings vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Friday , August 29
Wellington vs ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Preview
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay14:35
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs Waikato19:35
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs Tasman16:35
Wednesday, September 3
Manawatu vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
Thursday , September 4
Otago vs Canterbury19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province KingsBlue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
Sharks 19 - 16 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More Rugby Championship results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00