Title: Touch, Pause, Engage!
Subtitle: Exploring the heart of South African Rugby
Author: Liz McGregor
Publisher: Jonathan Ball Publishers
Johannesburg & Cape Town, South Africa 2011
ISBN 9781868423095 / ISBN 978-1-86842-309-5
Softcover, 15x23 cm, 276 pages
When Liz McGregor set out to explore South African rugby, she expected to find no more than muscle and brute force. Over an intense journey lasting more than three years she criss-crossed the country, from muddy school fields and the Craven Week trials, to the hallowed stadiums of Newlands and Loftus Versfeld. McGregor shadowed the UCT Ikey Tigers through an exhilarating campaign and Western Province through the highs and lows of the 2010 Currie Cup. She traced the Blue Bulls' determined campaign to transform themselves into a modern, winning team. She spoke to players, coaches, family and agents, of team selection and spirit, of the fear of injury, of playing week in and week out and the toll this takes on body and soul. She experienced the ecstasy of victory and the agony of defeat. Mesmerised by the excitement of the game, Liz McGregor found her early preconceptions shattered. From amateurs to Springboks, she found values anyone could be protid of: decency, humility and brotherhood. She discovered that it takes intelligence, discipline and faith to be part of a winning team, particularly in a country where players come from diverse backgrounds. McGregor gets close to that elusive magic that can transform a technically excellent team into a winning one.
In this scintillating, vividly written and meticulously researched book by one of the few women who have written on the subject of rugby in this country, Touch, Pause, Engage! Exploring the heart of South African Rugby takes the reader on a journey to the heart of South African rugby.