One Chance: My Life and Rugby, by Josh Lewsey

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The Independent Culture

As the England rugby union side tinker with their back division, one option is closed to them: Josh Lewsey, at 32 and after 55 caps, 22 tries and World Cup glory, has declared himself unavailable, though he still hopes for Lions selection.

In his autobiography, he doesn't mince his words: "I'd prefer to be part of a winning club side than a losing international one."

A pity, then, that Wasps are out of the Heineken Cup and lie ninth in the Premiership. But Lewsey comes across as a glass-half-full man, for whom rugby alone has never been enough, as he details how he racked up a physiology degree, a post-graduate degree in law and a stint in the Army to set alongside his on-field achievements.

His self-penned memoir – no ghost for him – contains shrewd analysis of the England set-up and its personalities but no earth-shattering revelations and, frustratingly, he omits to give the full story of his training-ground decking of club team-mate Danny Cipriani, though he does say the precocious fly-half can be "an awkward little bugger".

Let's hope England don't live to regret the loss of this fighting spirit.

Published in hardback by Virgin, £17.99

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