War Games - Rugby Union during the Second World War

9781902719672
  • Description
‘The intention behind War Games is to provide, for posterity, a record of ‘the great game’ during the war years, and of thosre embroiled in the conflict who held a deep passion for rugby and sought every opportunity to play the game.’

Phil Atkinson, from his Foreword

During the six years of a brutal global war - from the battlefields of Europe, to the deserts of North Africa, the jungles of the Asia and even in Prisoner of War camps - rugby union continued to be played wherever and whenever possible by the servicemen of Britain and her Allies from New Zealand, Australia and South  Africa,

Dedicated to 'all those in rugby who did - and who didn't - make it through those troubled times', War Games is a comprehensive and highly illustrated commemoration, packed with stories and statistics that for the first time chronicles the history of rugby - the men and the matches, from ‘scratch’ to international - during the Second World War.

Starting with the short-lived 'infant' season of 1939-40 and ending with the ‘Victory’ series of internationals in 1945-6, and including the hugely successful New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) 'Kiwi' tour of 1946,  War Games details all the major rugby contests and the hundreds of players including: Bleddyn Williams, Prince Alex Obolensky, Bill McLaren, Wilf Wooller, Blair Mayne, Sir Tasker Watkins, Ralph Sampson, Gus Risman, Willie Davies, Les Manfield, Charlie Saxton, Fred Allen and Jim Sherratt.

Essential and entertaining reading for followers of rugby and military historians alike, respected rugby authors Howard Evans and Phil Atkinson tell the tale - meticulously and with great affection for the game they love - of those men who played for fun but who, on too many occasions, lost more than a rugby game.

Howard Evans is highly regarded rugby writer who was, for many years, a rugby correspondent for the South Wales Echo and Western Mail, while Phil Atkinson is a retired headmaster and history teacher, and is editor of Touchlines, the magazine of the Rugby Memorabilia Society. Howard and Phil have also co-authored The King's Cup 1919 - Rugby's First World Cup (2015), and The Wizards  - Aberavon Rugby 1876-2017 (2017), both published by St. David's Press.