Listen free for 30 days

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

‘I’d like to be remembered as a player who showed that you can be incredibly professional but also a lot of fun - a bit of a tit in the changing room, but the ultimate competitor on the pitch. That should have been the subtitle of this book, really....’

One of rugby’s most ferocious flankers and biggest characters, James Haskell has had an extraordinary, global experience of the game, having played for the Lions, Wasps, England and in New Zealand, France and Japan. After 17 years and with 77 international caps under his sizeable belt, he has a shitload to say about rugby life - from pitch to pub and everywhere in between.

In What a Flanker, Haskell sheds fresh light on the dynamics and the day-to-day of the game. Whether he’s recalling the most brutal team socials; dispelling the myths surrounding New Zealand’s dominance; introducing his Japanese teammates to manscaping or calling out play-acting in the modern game, no subject is off limits.

Side-splittingly funny and ruthlessly honest, What a Flanker delves into the touring, drinking, training, eating and sometimes unconscionable antics of the professional rugby player. It’s an unforgettable listen, even if there are some stories you’d rather forget....

©2020 James Haskell (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"Hilarious, and straight talking but also articulate and insightful - I am just hugely fond of this guy." (Eddie Jones)

"I’d like to be remembered as a player who showed that you can be incredibly professional but also a lot of fun – a bit of a joker in the changing room, but the ultimate competitor on the pitch. That should have been the subtitle of this book, really...." (Rugby World)

What listeners say about What a Flanker

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,716
  • 4 Stars
    241
  • 3 Stars
    32
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    6
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,467
  • 4 Stars
    232
  • 3 Stars
    38
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    6
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,488
  • 4 Stars
    204
  • 3 Stars
    40
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    6

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Not delivered with enthusiasm like the podcast.

Solid content with some laugh out loud moments but Hask's reading does get a bit robotic at times...but he did decide to read it out himself so fair play.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Must listen for any rugby fan

Had me laughing every 5 minutes, highly recommend this to anyone who has followed England rugby and Haskell in the last 15 + years 👌🏻

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Inspirational

An honest and heart felt recounter from a true professional and a world class Flanker.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A must read/listen!

Great book with awesome stories! Love this book made me laugh so much to the point of tears!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great listen

love it will definitely recommend it and will listen to it again and again

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A really interesting look into how rugby works

....from the inside.

I have been a rugby fan for a while now and follow England Rugby particularly very closely so it was interesting to hear about how it works/ed when you are one of the England players, especially around the time of the 2015 world cup. It was good to hear the true story behind that shambles of a tournament and that, for the most part at least it wasn't solely the players that were at fault.

It was sad to hear about how badly the RFU is run and how they all seem to sound like clueless clowns. It was not a surprise to hear that the media are just as much a bunch of slimy scumbags when it comes to Rugby news and commentary as they are to everything else.

It was also good to hear was how many good guys there are on the inside and how there are a lot of people that work really hard day in and out to do what they love most, play rugby.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

brilliant

funny and insightful. massive fan of James and this book did not disappoint. very much worth a read.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Just brilliant

Hask is an absolute legend brilliantly written and narrated, a genuinely good guy both on the pitch and pretty much everywhere else

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

It gets better

I purchased this book as I enjoyed James podcasts. After the first couple of chapters I was regretting it. The lads lads lads culture was very boring. After that when he got into the relationships with coaches and issues that rugby has with player welfare it became a good listen.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Legend

Awesome book. Didn’t want to stop listening finished in two days. Can’t wait for the next book

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kindle Customer
  • Kindle Customer
  • 10-02-21

What I needed

Being an American rugby enthusiast and referee I feel that despite myself never touching the success of James Haskell, this book looks at the person not just the professional. I can relate to the story and struggles he faced when approaching retirement. I am a military veteran and knowing when to hang it up and when to keep pushing was a struggle, as was for Mr. Haskell it seems. What to do next, how to cope with what comes next. I loved the book and it spoke to me on several levels. I highly recommend this to anyone that likes rugby or anyone making transitions in their careers.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Fred
  • Fred
  • 14-01-21

Hask ya Flanker!

Absolute champion of a book! Recommend to rugby players who love a good banter. Definitely not for backs.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for eric hansen
  • eric hansen
  • 04-01-21

Brittliant book by an equally brilliant hask

Funny and easy listen. Lovely bloke.
If youre into rugby you should definitely listen to this book

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ajm
  • Ajm
  • 02-11-20

Well worth the purchase

Loved it.
A black and white insight into professional rugby
Humorous, brutally honest and authentic

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for jeremy kunkes
  • jeremy kunkes
  • 04-10-20

Rugby players must read

Haskell's rugby and life tales keep you entertained for the complete listen. If you enjoy the podcast James Haskell host and is apart of you will enjoy the listen. Some of Haskell's stories brought me back to university and my rugby experience and found some of the stories relatable.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 03-10-20

Haskell, you legend

Amazing story. Thank you for sharing your journey. I hope you and the boys will be in SA next year for the B&I Lions Tour