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Nobody Beats Us: The Inside Story of the 1970s Wales Rugby Team [Paperback]

David Tossell , J. J. Williams
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
RRP: £8.99
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Book Description

4 Nov 2010

In the 1970s, an age long before World Cups, rugby union to the British public meant Bill McLaren, rude songs and, most of all, Wales. Between 1969 and 1979, the men in red shirts won or shared eight Five Nations Championships, including three Grand Slams and six Triple Crowns. But the mere facts resonate less than the enduring images of the precision of Gareth Edwards, the sublime touch of Barry John, the sidesteps of Gerald Davies and Phil Bennett, the courage of J.P.R. Williams, and the forward power of the Pontypool Front Row and 'Merv the Swerve' Davies.

To the land of their fathers, these Welsh heroes represented pride and conquest at a time when the decline of the province's traditional coal and steel industries was sending thousands to the dole queue and threatening the fabric of local communities. Yet the achievements of those players transcended their homeland and extended beyond mere rugby fans. With the help of comedian Max Boyce, the culture of Welsh rugby and valley life permeated Britain's living rooms at the height of prime time, reinforcing the sporting brilliance that lit up winter Saturday afternoons.

In Nobody Beats Us, David Tossell, who spent the '70s as a schoolboy scrum-half trying to perfect the Gareth Edwards reverse pass, interviews many of the key figures of a golden age of Welsh rugby and vividly recreates an unforgettable sporting era.

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Nobody Beats Us: The Inside Story of the 1970s Wales Rugby Team + Welsh Rugby's Six Of The Best [DVD Boxed Set] + So You Think You Know Welsh Rugby? Welsh Rugby Quiz Book
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Mainstream Publishing (4 Nov 2010)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 1845967313
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845967314
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 60,356 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Tossell has been a sports journalist for more than three decades. Currently head of European Public Affairs for the NFL (National Football League) and former Executive Sports Editor of the Today newspaper, he is the author of 12 sports books. Five of his books have been short-listed in the British Sports Book Awards - Bertie Mee (Best Biography, 2006); Grovel! (Best Cricket Book, 2008); Nobody Beats Us (Best Rugby Book, 2010); Tony Greig (Best Cricket Book, 2012) and The Great English Final (Best Football Book, 2014). He has also been short-listed twice for MCC/Cricket Society Book of the Year.
He has written books on football, cricket, rugby and American football.
Twitter: @David_Tossell

Product Description


"A belter . . . No book better explains why watching Wales was almost a religious experience (*****)" (Rugby World)

Book Description

A celebration of a golden era in Welsh national rugby

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Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even the Gods have warts! 10 Oct 2009
I could not wait to read this book having been present at most of the games described within its covers.
I was not disappointed either,as it proved to be a trip back in time with revelations that made me sit back and wonder.
It was a time when no surname was necessary when talking of anyone in the red jersey,and the results of the team meant so much to the people of Wales during a pretty bleak period.
Season by season accounts brought the memories flooding back,I could almost smell the beer breaths and flowing urine on the east terrace once again!
The book tends not to pile too much glorification on the men who brought us the pride,although obviously recognising their undoubted skills.Interviews with all the usual suspects give substance to my description that even the gods have warts!
Gareth,Gerald,Merve,JPR,Phil,JJ,etc all give insights as to what it was like to play for Wales at that time.
Contributions are also printed from Clive Rowlands,and John Dawes who had to coach the elite.
Behind the match day build up details are most interesting with tales of those training days on Aberavon beach beside the Afon Lido sports complex watched by thousands.
A book generally aimed for those who were there as Max Boyce once said,but also one for anyone younger who wonders why those such as I can't stop talking about those halcyon days.
Buy it with confidence.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NOBODY BEATS US 20 Feb 2011
I was there but never realised how good those days were or what had really been achived. The book was unbiased and full of anecdotes that I had never heard. A must for all rugby buffs whether you are Welsh or not! Got to be in every sports fans collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Seeing as I wasn't around in the 70's, this gave me an idea of why the players of this era were so revered by their peers and the country as a whole. It covers all the key events and is a great insight into how the players of the amateur era lived and played the game. This makes their achievements even more astonishing. The book is interspersed with the social and economic issues that were dominating Wales at the time and made it apparent why the teams success was such a welcome distraction for people who were facing cuts and redundancies etc. It is this back story that adds to the romance of the era and why people hold the players in such regard for everything they achieved during such an era.
Anyone who is a fan of Welsh rugby should read this, whether they were around in the 70's or not as this was a brilliant period in the national game. A great read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent 8 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you were there in the 70's following Wales you will love every second you spend reading this delightful book. It took me back to days spent at Twickenham, Cardiff Arms Park and Parc des Princes, and is beautifully written.
I did not want it to end.
You will not be disappointed... a wonderful tribute to JPR, Reames, The King, Gareth, Benny, et al and a trip down memory lane.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good book for Welsh rugby fans 11 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A book full of information for all fans of Welsh rugby. Interesting as well of course for fans of the game who may support the opposition!
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