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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Rugby hurts. It demands mental resilience and resistance to pain. It explores character, beyond a capacity to endure punishment. In The Hurt, Dylan Hartley, one of England's most successful captains, tells a story of hard men and harsh truths. This is rugby in the raw, a unique insight into the price of sporting obsession.

At the age of 16, Hartley travelled to England, on his own, to build a life and learn the dark arts of front-row play. He won 97 international caps before his retirement, due to a persistent knee condition, in November 2019. He formed an unusually close coach-captain relationship with Eddie Jones, winning the Grand Slam in their first season together.

Hartley addresses the ever-increasing physical and psychological demands on international players and the toll it can take on their mental health. He describes with brutal clarity the effects of multiple concussions and his fear of the potential long-term damage caused by a game he fell in love with as a boy in rural New Zealand. 'Rugby is great for the soul,' he writes, 'but terrible for the body.'

Dylan Hartley has survived old-school brawls and thrived in the high-pressure, high-performance culture created by Eddie Jones before his dream of leading England on the biggest stage in the 2019 World Cup was shattered by untimely injury. Along the way, he learned a lot about leadership and about himself. The Hurt shows us his life and his sport, warts and all. 

©2020 Dylan Hartley (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"Few have had more twists and turns in a pro rugby career than the now-retired Dylan Hartley. Never a one dimensional character on or off the field and led England to some famous wins." (Robert Kitson) 

What listeners say about The Hurt

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  • Overall
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Great to hear a small part of someone's life

what great listen got from start to finish 2 days whilst driving my truck about. Helped time go past fast

1 person found this helpful

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Honesty.

Best sporting autobiography I've heard or read. honest and inciteful, Hartley lays it all out.

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loved it!

loved it, I felt it gave a great insight to the world of sport at the highest level.

1 person found this helpful

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Hurts

Some of the narration leaves a little to be desired. A fascinating on-site to a much misunderstood player.. oh when the saints!

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Plenty of front row grit and honesty

Very good narrator, great insight into why Dylan came to England at a tender age of 16. The book explains how his outlook at behaviours were moulded in the hard nosed Kiwi Rugby environment.

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A very good listen

Great book. It offers a different insight into professional rugby. Changing the usual narrative of traditional laddish story telling from Ex-pros in their autobiography’s. Dylan is an inspiring figure and could teach anyone something about leadership and relationship building. With this in mind, I’d have enjoyed him to have read it.

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Blown away!!

Insightful in all areas of an autobiography. Best listen of 2020 for me hands down!!

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Dartley at his best!

Well worth the listen! Great biography, full of fantastic comical stories and interesting insights into the professional game.

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what an insight!

great listen highly recommend - such a thinker off the field but so hot on the pitch

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Ins and outs of Rugby

Good book that gives great insight into the ins and outs of Rugby, personaly I would of liked a little more on the social side.