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John Dawes: The Man who changed the world of Rugby

Ross Reyburn  Other books by Ross Reyburn

The Man who changed the world of Rugby is an overdue tribute to one of rugby union's greatest innovators, the former London Welsh, Wales, British Lions and Barbarians captain, John Dawes.

Part of the book was written after the legendary 1971 Lions tour when author Ross Reyburn was sports editor of the Hampstead & Highgate Express in London. It contains the Welshman's own vivid account of how he brought his attacking vision of rugby to the highest level, defeating the All Blacks, and also leading the Lions and 1973 Barbarians. To his original manuscript Reyburn has added an intriguing postscript putting into perspective what Dawes achieved as the key figure in British rugby's renaissance in the 1970s which, ultimately, also transformed the game in New Zealand.

ISBN: 9781847717061

Category: Sport

Language: English


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  "So huge does the author consider to be the contribution made by this man from Chapel of Ease, Gwent that he claims for him a more important place in historical terms than legends like Gareth Edwards, Barry John, Gerald Davies, JPR Williams and Mervyn Davies. In 1971, John Dawes led London Welsh to its best ever season, captained Wales to a grand slam and guided the Lions to their historic series win in NZ.
And who can forget his part in Edwards' “try of the century” for the Barbarians against the All Blacks at Cardiff in 1973?
As a captain he was peerless; he was the quiet man who got things done. He was the man who made British rugby lose its inferiority complex." - Barri Hurford, Secretary, Welsh Rugby Writers

  "This book tells the story of the greatest of all Lions tours, when Dawes and his hugely gifted contemporaries achieved rugby's Everest, becoming the only Lions team to win a Test series in New Zealand. And that remains the case to this day.
Dawes was the best giver of a pass I have ever seen - although every rugby player thinks they can pass a ball, he did it at a different level. An intelligent man, he had a brilliant rugby brain and he was an exceptional captain - this is a good read." - John Duckers, former business editor of The Birmingham Post

  "John Dawes is one of the most fascinating characters in the long history of Welsh rugby, and this is a fascinating perspective on him. The man was a genius. This is a fine book, rich in the statistics and comparisons many sports fans love." - Meic Llewellyn, Gwales

  "At long last, John Dawes gets his rightful recognition." - Brendan Gallagher, The Rugby Paper

  "As book titles go, “John Dawes, the man who changed the world of Rugby” is a bold statement to make. But the arguments the author makes are strong ones... Dawes was the architect of London Welsh's transformation." - Gwladrugby

  "Full of interesting stories and extremely well written, one of the best rugby biographies of recent times." - G. Jones, Amazon

Y Lolfa, Talybont, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, Cymru/Wales SY24 5HE     +44(0) 1970 832 304