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Publisher's Summary

‘I’d like to be remembered as a player who showed that you can be incredibly professional but also a lot of fun - a bit of a tit in the changing room, but the ultimate competitor on the pitch. That should have been the subtitle of this book, really....’

One of rugby’s most ferocious flankers and biggest characters, James Haskell has had an extraordinary, global experience of the game, having played for the Lions, Wasps, England and in New Zealand, France and Japan. After 17 years and with 77 international caps under his sizeable belt, he has a shitload to say about rugby life - from pitch to pub and everywhere in between.

In What a Flanker, Haskell sheds fresh light on the dynamics and the day-to-day of the game. Whether he’s recalling the most brutal team socials; dispelling the myths surrounding New Zealand’s dominance; introducing his Japanese teammates to manscaping or calling out play-acting in the modern game, no subject is off limits.

Side-splittingly funny and ruthlessly honest, What a Flanker delves into the touring, drinking, training, eating and sometimes unconscionable antics of the professional rugby player. It’s an unforgettable listen, even if there are some stories you’d rather forget....

©2020 James Haskell (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"Hilarious, and straight talking but also articulate and insightful - I am just hugely fond of this guy." (Eddie Jones)

"I’d like to be remembered as a player who showed that you can be incredibly professional but also a lot of fun – a bit of a joker in the changing room, but the ultimate competitor on the pitch. That should have been the subtitle of this book, really...." (Rugby World)

What listeners say about What a Flanker

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Interesting and honest.

A good look at how the media tries to screw over and manipulate athletes. James is outspoken, honest and readily admits he's not perfect. loved it.

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Hilarity, heart warming and intriguing.

what a rugby journey and this book describes it best. Taking a peak behind the curtain of a professional rugby player. The fame, the banter, the hardwork and the true haskell is what this book reveals. Loved it.

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  • Jon
  • 10-11-2020

perfect and funny

loved it 100% made me smile .couldnt stop listening to it .good inside word on rugby

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Lads, lads, lads (and some touching stories)

What a great storyteller. Engaging. Loved the fact that James read it himself. That really added to the tales.

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What a listen!!!

absolutely brilliant!!! loved every second of listening to this. A great insight into the world of professional rugby. Congratulations Hask. Top work

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  • Ajm
  • 02-11-2020

Well worth the purchase

Loved it. A black and white insight into professional rugby Humorous, brutally honest and authentic

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  • jeremy kunkes
  • 04-10-2020

Rugby players must read

Haskell's rugby and life tales keep you entertained for the complete listen. If you enjoy the podcast James Haskell host and is apart of you will enjoy the listen. Some of Haskell's stories brought me back to university and my rugby experience and found some of the stories relatable.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-10-2020

Haskell, you legend

Amazing story. Thank you for sharing your journey. I hope you and the boys will be in SA next year for the B&I Lions Tour

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  • Ross Smith
  • 05-10-2020

Not delivered with enthusiasm like the podcast.

Solid content with some laugh out loud moments but Hask's reading does get a bit robotic at times...but he did decide to read it out himself so fair play.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-10-2020

Must listen for any rugby fan

Had me laughing every 5 minutes, highly recommend this to anyone who has followed England rugby and Haskell in the last 15 + years 👌🏻

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  • Malcolm Gibbs
  • 17-10-2020

Inspirational

An honest and heart felt recounter from a true professional and a world class Flanker.

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  • wolvesbloke
  • 04-12-2020

No holds barred

Excellent book well read by James.Hope this is the first of many.The world of rugby at it's best

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  • Pen Name
  • 03-12-2020

Hilarious and light hearted read

Loved listening to James' autobiography. Laughed countless times and recommend to anyone and everyone, especially if you need cheering up

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  • E. Barker
  • 02-12-2020

Enjoyable, reflective and plenty of bants

I was unsure how I would get on with Haskell's book given his bravado and 'banter' personality that you see superficially. I initially thought I had made a mistake when we leap right into rugby initiations but the book makes an interesting and insightful view of rugby in the modern age, playing at the highest level and reflections on playing in other cultures and places. it certainly contains a humorous and refreshingly self aware view of not only the author bit also of rugby players generally. anyone unfamiliar with the intricacies of club rugby may struggle to understand the types of personalities described. I enjoyed Haskell's delivery and narration and some of the anecdotes are laugh out loud. the book is held back somewhat why the almost schizophrenic move from one thing to another, and there is never really a great deal of detail on any single issue. but then that possibly underlines the interests and many things he has done in a short career more than anything else. compared to other boring sports biographies that fixate on the sport itself, it is balanced in its content and reflects on the wider world. a recommended listen

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-12-2020

Great story

Great story from a Rugby Great, couldn't stop listening from start to finish! The truth is finally out.

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  • MR
  • 02-12-2020

Brilliant!

A brilliant, funny listen. Loads of great stories and imsight into professional rugby. Great having Hask read it.

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  • John Lucas
  • 01-12-2020

Honest Reveal

First time listening to an audible, really enjoyed it and hearing James Haskell read it made it all the better. After being a spectator watching James at Wasps and England plus listening to his latest podcasts it has really made me appreciate the job of a professional rugby career, what they go through with the highs and lows. Anybody who has rugby running through their veins from a kid till adulthood will love this book. It also has some really good insights to what a professional sportsperson goes through, this is a must read for anyone interested in leadership, self motivation along with a bit of humour to make you smile whilst listening to it. Well done Mr Haskell

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 30-11-2020

Enthralling

This is without doubt one of the greatest sports books I have ever read. James’ honesty and straight forward no nonsense approach to life is wonderful to hear. It is full of fantastic insights into the world of professional rugby. I can’t wait for the next book James. Cheers

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