Since its inception in 1987 the rugby union World Cup has come a long way. In twenty years it has gone from being a cheerful, amateurish kickabout to one of the world's premier sporting events, third only to the football World Cup and the Olympics in terms of global reach. Along the way it has mirrored the sport's occasionally painful march into the professional era, with commensurate advances in the standard of play but also, some would argue, a loss of innocence as the marketing men have moved in on an increasingly lucrative property.
But the competition is still -- mostly -- about the game itself. And THIRTY BULLIES is the real tale of the rugby World Cups -- the players' stories -- the funny, the irreverent, the real and the fascinating tale of the history of the competition from the perspective of those who took part. From the players who got drunk all the way through the 1987 World Cup to the high-level training programmes and sophisticated tactics of 2003 -- here is the full story. Written by one of the game's foremost insiders and observers, and published to coincide with the 2007 Cup in France, THIRTY BULLIES is destined to become the definitive history.
Alison Kervin is an award-winning sports journalist and author. During the 1991 World Cup she refereed at Twickenham as well as acting as the England players' PR manager. By the time the 1995 World Cup arrived, she was editor of the world's biggest-selling rugby magazine. In 1999 she was rugby editor of THE TIMES, and in 2003 she was that newspaper's Chief Sports Features Writer. Today she is a freelance writer and novelist, living in London.