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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

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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.

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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 👌🏻

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Inspirational

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

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Not a Rugby fan

Really enjoyed the book. loved Hask's attempts at accents some are better than others 10/10

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Excellent!

James Haskell's 'What a flanker' was great from start to finish, really enjoyable, and made all the better by the fact that it was narrated by himself!

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Outstanding

Love that he reads it himself so the stories get the passion they no doubt needed to ensure the message was contextually explained. Loved it!!

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One of my top audio listens

What a fantastic listen for any rugby fan. Learnt so much about the professional game, the behind the scenes atmosphere and general business. Very funny in parts, balanced out with deep and thoughtful moments.

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Brilliant

Very amusing, great listen i didn’t expect to enjoy as much as I did
Highly recommended

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A must read book ":)

As an ex North of England rugby player I found this book fantastic.
Superb so far ":))

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Great guy

Great book for any rugby lover.
I hear people say quite often that they don’t like James Haskell, none of these people have ever listened to his podcasts, watched him on I’m a Celebrity or read his book.
James I think you are great and been treated very unfairly throughout your career, you should be very proud.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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

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  • Ajm
  • 02-11-20

Well worth the purchase

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

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  • 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.

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  • 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