Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Rugby with the Islanders


One of my Christmas pressies last month was Running with the Kenyans by runner and journalist Adharanand Finn who, fascinated by Kenyan domination of the world's biggest road races, packed up his family and moved to the small town of Iten in Kenya, to train alongside Olympic champions and young hopefuls in an attempt to discover their secret.

It's an excellent read (thoroughly recommended) and a fascinating story and it got me thinking firstly about the Warthogs rugby tour to Kenya in 1990 (more of that on another occasion) but also about what the rugby equivalent of this story might be.

For me, the answer would be Rugby with the Islanders, an epic tale of an ageing and overweight former flanker who upped sticks to spend a year living and training in Fiji, Samoa and Tonga to discover the secrets behind the increasing domination of world rugby by players of Pacific Island heritage...

3 comments:

Nursedude said...

I'll tell you what, Flanker, Pacific islanders are a force in the rugby community here in Southern California. It actually sounds like a worthwhile study, and worthy of a book. Thanks for pointing out the running with the Kenyans book. I had not heard of it, and it looks like a good read.

talk-obama said...
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Von said...

Running with the Kenyans is a brilliant book. I agree wholeheartedly with Mr Flanker and, funnily enough, had exactly the same thought while reading about buggering off to Samoa for a year. Didn't linger on the thought for long though. Crucial difference - when Finn couldn't hack the pace he just dropped out, as opposed to getting absolutely smashed in tackles over and over again!