Win a copy of Behind the Dragon
Behind the Dragon is the latest player-led history in the Polaris Publishing series, with Welsh rugby players from across the ages relating their own views and experiences.
On this page, we’ll offer just a morsel and it comes from Scott Baldwin, the Wales hooker famously bitten by a lion in a South African game reserve in 2017. He’s discussing time at a national training camp.
“There was a genuine sense of camaraderie between the boys. Everyone got on brilliantly and Gats helped to foster a club mentality,” begins Baldwin.
“I was rooming with Samson Lee, which was an experience in itself. He liked to go to bed at eight o’clock and told me to get up and turn him on his side if he snored. It didn’t really work and I was down on my sleep after a few nights. He was up bright and early every day and on our first day off, I attempted to have a lie-in.
“It was ruined by a loud knock at the door. It was a DPS delivery guy with a parcel for Samson. A big, brown box. When he came back later and opened it up, it was full of money. Reams of it. I said, ‘Sams, what the hell is that?’
‘I ran out, so I had the missus send it up.’
“It turned out they only had one bank card between them and he’d never used it because he didn’t know how. His missus looked after the finances and would just dole out the money as and when he needed it. When he got his first pay cheque at the Scarlets, he went into the chairman’s office to ask what ‘tax‘ meant and why it had been deducted from his wages. He didn’t have a scooby.”
Ross Harries is the author of the book and explains how the project began when he was approached at the bar during an awards evening at Lord’s.
“As anyone who’s written a book will know, it can be a lonely, solitary pursuit, and there are times when you want to take a match to your manuscript and watch it go up in flames,” he writes in the foreword.
“It’s been an epic journey, and a privilege to delve deep into the treasure trove of memories shared by those who have proudly worn the three feathers during more than a hundred years of rugby history. In this sense, my role has been that of curator.
“I owe an enormous debt of thanks to all the players and coaches, past and present, who’ve given so generously of their time and been so candid and entertaining in their recollections. Without their cooperation, this book simply wouldn’t exist.”
Behind the Dragon: Playing Rugby for Wales is published by Polaris, RRP £20, and it comes highly recommended. You can buy it here.
Polaris have kindly provided us with six copies to give away. For a chance to win one, answer the question below and fill in your details. The competition closes on Friday 19 July.
Terms and conditions
The competition closes at 23.59pm on Friday 19 July 2019.
Six winners will be selected at random, each winning a copy of the book Behind the Dragon by Ross Harries.
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