REVIEW: Heading For The Line, by Michael Miles

headingforthelineMichael Miles only started watching rugby league three years ago when London’s Evening Standard ran a promotion offering free tickets to watch Harlequins (as they were then), but he has now produced what must rank as one of the definitive guides to rugby league grounds across the UK.

Heading For The Line gives any travelling fan everything they need for any away day. Each professional and semi-professional club is covered, so whether you’re heading to the DW Stadium or the Prince of Wales Stadium, everything is at your fingertips.

Want to know the best route to the Keepmoat Stadium? Miles has got it covered. How about disabled access at the Stade Gilbert Brutus? Check. Fancy a pint at Workington, a visit to the club shop at York or the best bus to get to Hull KR? It’s all here, packed into 120 pages of anorak heaven.

There are also sections covering World Cup venues, the National Conference, Armed Services – and even a brief look at Australia’s NRL grounds.

Miles writes: “The aim of this book is simple. It is to provide the travelling rugby league fan access to all the information they need to get the maximum out of their rugby travels.” Mission accomplished.

Buy Now

Heading For The Line
, by Michael Miles, is available now. ISBN 978-1903659670, published by London League Publications. Buy now and save on the cover price. This title is also available in Kindle edition.


REVIEW: Gillette Rugby League Yearbook 2012-2013, by Tim Butcher and Daniel Spencer

How will you remember 2012?

The year of Super League’s ill-fated sponsorship deal with Eddie Stobart? Bradford’s dance with disaster? Or the season of booming TV viewers and ever-increasing attendances?

Whatever your memories, they’re all covered in the Gillette Rugby League Yearbook 2012-2013, League Publications’ exhaustive and indispensable guide to another summer of rugby league action from around the world.

Mick Potter, Kevin Sinfield, Scott Dureau, Sam Tomkins and Chris Hill are named as the five personalities of 2012, having all enjoyed seasons they are unlikely to forget.

A section of full-colour action photographs brings to life a detailed account of the year just gone, while at the back is the usual comprehensive collection of statistics that now put the Gillette Rugby League Yearbook up there alongside the old Rothmans Yearbooks from years gone by.

Every match across Super League, Championship and Championship One is covered, along with a list of every player to have featured in the history of Super League and a club-by-club breakdown of the 2012 season.

And at 320 pages there is surely enough to keep everyone going until the new season begins.

Get it on your Christmas list now.


The Gillette Rugby League Yearbook 2012-2013, by Tim Butcher and Daniel Spencer, is available now. ISBN 978-1901347265, published by League Publications. Buy now and save on the cover price.

REVIEW: Three Fartown Aussies: Hunter, Cooper, Devery, by David Gronow

His open-necked shirts, ripped jeans and leather jacket have made Nathan Brown one of the most recognisable Super League coaches. But the quotable Australian, who is the overseas recruit to have had perhaps the single biggest impact on Huddersfield during the summer era, is just the latest in a long line of Aussie imports to the club they used to call Fartown.

Club historian David Gronow’s latest book on the Giants, Three Fartown Aussies: Hunter, Cooper, Devery, celebrates the contribution made by those men who used to travel to the north of England seeking fame and fortune.

Winger Lionel Cooper would only sign for an English club if he could bring a friend to help him settle into life in the UK. Plenty of clubs were keen on Cooper, but few were willing to risk funding another Aussie – the relatively unknown Johnny Hunter – until Huddersfield took a punt on the Antipodean duo.

And along with Pat Devery, a man who was to become the club’s captain, they formed the most formidable trio in Fartown’s all-conquering team of the late 1940s and early 1950s. [Read more…]

REVIEW: Best in the Northern Union, by Tom Mather

Best in the Northern Union

Best in the Northern Union, by Tom Mather

Sometimes it is our earliest actions that most affect our future. Life-changing moments can be traced back to a throwaway conversation or a lightly-considered decision that reverberates during the years – perhaps decades – that follow.

So it is with the Northern Union’s bold move to send a touring team to Australia and New Zealand in 1910.

While the tour was far from an accident (author Tom Mather’s revelations about the Northern Union’s planning are fascinating), its legacy is still felt today with the dominance of rugby league on Australia’s east coast and the thriving New Zealand scene. [Read more…]

REVIEW: The Rugby League World Cup, by Tim Butcher and Malcolm Andrews

The Rugby League World Cup, by Tim Butcher and Malcolm Andrews

Originally published after the 2000 Rugby League World Cup, and updated after New Zealand’s stunning triumph in 2008, League Publications have produced another triumph for anyone interested in the history of the greatest game.

Starting with the first World Cup back in 1954, when Scotsman Dave Valentine lifted the trophy for a Great Britain side widely written off before their exploits in France, Tim Butcher and Malcolm Andrews expertly guide us through each of the 13 Rugby League World Cups.

And while The Rugby League World Cup has a comprehensive stats and results section, it still brings to life some of the human stories involved with rugby league’s most significant tournament. [Read more…]

REVIEW: Gillette Rugby League Yearbook 2010-2011, by Tim Butcher and Daniel Spencer

Gillette Rugby League Yearbook 2010-2011

The Gillette Rugby League Yearbook is now firmly established as a must-have annual purchase for rugby league’s most committed fans.

And when you see the dedication, hard work and attention to detail that goes into producing each season’s effort, it’s easy to understand why.

Rugby league experienced some exhilarating highs and gut-wrenching lows during 2010 – all are captured and recorded in this comprehensive review of the season.

Tim Butcher looks back on 2010 month by month, starting at the turn of the year with Steve Prescott’s MBE, Jamie Peacock’s call for Super League to be reduced to 10 clubs and Brian Noble’s desperate scrabble to assemble a Crusaders squad in just six weeks. [Read more…]