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
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Newcastle vs Sale15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Lyon vs Montpellier18:00
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:00
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821