Book of the week: What goes on tour stays on tour by Brian Moore

Former England international reveals what life's like behind the scenes when on a rugby tour

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Brian Moore retired from playing 17 years ago, and while he misses “the thrill of combat”, it is “the camaraderie and fun off [the pitch] that I miss even more”.

So it’s no surprise that the former England and Lions hooker takes the attitude that while rugby union tourists’ alcohol-fuelled antics are often puerile and irresponsible, they’re also highly enjoyable, so if you’re offended, live with it.

If you like being tied to a tree and made to sing Chanson D’Amour every five minutes while your captain pisses on your shoes, or fancy throwing a cat into a restaurant’s tankful of trout, then touring’s for you. But the ultimate bonding activity is a good singsong, says Moore with almost obsessional enthusiasm, and he helpfully includes the unexpurgated lyrics of rugby “classics” such as The Sexual Life of the Camel.

Defiantly non-PC, this offering will appeal to the more traditional rugby fan while confirming the prejudices of non-believers. Perhaps, as Moore observes of one particularly lurid incident, you had to be there.

Published in hardback by Simon & Schuster, £18.99