'Rugby is great for the soul but terrible for the body.'
Rugby hurts. It demands mental resilience and resistance to pain. It explores character, beyond a capacity to endure punishment.
Dylan Hartley, one of England's most successful captains, tells a story of hard men and harsh truths. From the sixteen-year-old Kiwi who travelled alone to England, to the winner of ninety-seven international caps, he describes with brutal clarity the sport's increasing demand on players and the toll it takes on their mental health, as well as the untimely injury that shattered his dreams of leading England in the 2019 World Cup.
The Hurt is rugby in the raw, a unique insight into the price of sporting obsession.
'One of the best rugby books for years ... Unswervingly honest' The Times, Best Sporting Reads for Christmas 2020
'Anyone wanting to understand England under the coaches Martin Johnson, Stuart Lancaster and Eddie Jones, as well as the mental and physical strains professional rugby take on its players, should start here' Sunday Times
'Forthright and striking ... Few have had more twists and turns in a pro rugby career' Robert Kitson, Guardian
'One of the best captains I have ever worked with' James Haskell
'Anyone who cares about the game, in which he won 97 caps for England and played 250 times for Northampton, should read Hartley's book' Don McRae, Guardian
'Fascinating ... No one should underestimate his impact' Rugby World