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
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Scarlets vs LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Preview
Montpellier vs GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Preview
Northampton vs OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Preview
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Preview
Castres vs LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Preview
Wasps vs HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Preview
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92 Preview
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs Edinburgh19:35
Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Ospreys vs Connacht19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday , October 25
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Western Province 19 - 16 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615