The Offside Line recommends: 5 great rugby books for Christmas

From Ken Scotland re-inventing full-back play to Exeter Chiefs' emergence as Europe's top club ... we've got it covered

This snap of The Greenyards on 7s day is one of nearly 300 brilliant Scottish Rugby photos in Steve Finan's 'Dark Blue Blood - Scottish Rugby in the Black and White Era"
This snap of The Greenyards on 7s day is one of nearly 300 brilliant Scottish Rugby photos in Steve Finan's 'Dark Blue Blood - Scottish Rugby in the Black and White Era"

AS the build up to the big day gathers pace, The Offside Line is here to help out with our recommendation of five books – all available to buy at our online shop – which can be the perfect gift for your rugby loving friends and family this Christmas.

For the kids:

1. Chasing a Rugby Dream: Kick-off

Click HERE to buy.

Written by Ospreys, Gloucester, Perpignan, Wales and British & Irish Lions star, James Hook, with acclaimed author, David Brayley, this is the first in a fantastic new series of middle-grade novels that combine amazing characters and great rugby drama with insights and tips for young, aspiring players. ‘The perfect book for any parent to read with their kids.’

James Hook’s unusual new career path inspires kids to ‘Chase a Rugby Dream’


For the sentimentalists:

2. Dark Blue Blood – Scottish Rugby in the Black & White Era

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Scottish rugby has a glorious history, great players, great games, great memories. The game has been photographed all the way along its journey, and it is those photos that author Steve Finan found in dusty newspaper and magazine archives, and various other collections — photos not seen for 40 or 50 years.

‘Dark Blue Blood’ is a black and white book which should be read all over


For the modernists:

3. Exe Men: The Extraordinary Rise of the Exeter Chiefs

Click HERE to buy.

The inside story of the fairytale success of Exeter Chiefs, the club from the lower leagues who broke into the English Premiership and not only survived against all expectations, but has gone on to become one of the most dominant club teams in world rugby. Written by The Guardian’s Robert Kitson.

Story of the ‘Exe Men’ points the way to making professional rugby work


For the purists:

4. Ken Scotland – The Autobiography

Click HERE to buy.

Ken Scotland has finally decided to tell his story and has created a rich and powerful testimony to his life and rugby career, throwing new light on his own achievements as well as providing fresh insight into the great players of his era. This autobiography is as fascinating as it is evocative of a time and a game long past, and is a must-read for rugby fans of all generations.

Ken Scotland: an unlikely revolutionary who embodies the spirit of rugby


For the anoraks:

5. Scottish Rugby 101

Click HERE to buy.

A compendium of fascinating facts, quotes, stats, stories, personalities and trivia, compiled by Pete Burns. Perfect for all fans of Scottish rugby.


Gavin Blackburn column: My solution to Scotland’s player pathway problem

About David Barnes 3114 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.