A superb annual for all rugby lovers

2011-12-21 00:00

RUGBY followers scampering about in search of late additions to Christmas stockings for the wife and kids may consider the SA Rugby Annual 2012.

This 41st edition of this annual, the official yearbook of the SA Rugby Union, has never been published so soon after the completion of the extended South African season.

There was a time when publishers struggled to bring out the annual before the start of the new season, even in those times when rugby was a winter sport, but those days are now happily behind us.

The editors, Duane Heath and Eddie Grieb, have been helped this year by the sensible decision to cancel the usual Springboks’ end-of-the-year drag around Europe, but they have still done an excellent job in producing this 41st edition of the annual in time for Christmas and a month earlier than before.

This yearbook is acknowledged as one of the most comprehensive and valuable in world rugby.

Crowded with facts, figures, articles and photographs, the annual contains comprehensive reviews of the 2011 Rugby World Cup, the Tri-Nations, Super Rugby and the Currie Cup competitions.

There are sections on all the South African provinces and Super Rugby franchises, tributes to South Africa’s Player of the Year (Schalk Burger) and Young Player of the Year (Patrick Lambie), chapters on amateur rugby and then detailed statistics of all the various competitions and individual players.

The yearbook records the more than 200 first-class matches involving South African teams in 2011 and rugby followers will find the biographies of all 750 players who appeared in those matches particularly valuable.

The details of the 743 matches (404 Tests and 339 overseas tour games) play- ed by the Boks over the past 120 years are listed in the record section

The annual, at near 500 pages, will require a hefty stocking, but make the space. This is a book no rugby family should be without.

• The SA Rugby Annual 2012 is edited by Duane Heath and Eddie Grieb, (MWP Ltd), Cape Town. Price is R180.

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