Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £11.99

Buy Now for £11.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

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)

More from the same

What listeners say about What a Flanker

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2,029
  • 4 Stars
    289
  • 3 Stars
    43
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    7
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,732
  • 4 Stars
    282
  • 3 Stars
    44
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    7
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,758
  • 4 Stars
    244
  • 3 Stars
    49
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 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.

3 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

loved it, funny from the start

Great behind the scenes look st being a rugby player and full of stories you couldn't even think would be true. Loved the fact that Haskell narrated it, makes it all the more engaging.

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

A must read!

This book allowed me to connect with the old rugby days of my youth. It’s taught me lessons, made me laugh, think and grow. It also provided me comfort when feeling lost and at an extreme low.

Thank you James.

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

Great.

Insightful and honest. Had me laughing out loud in parts. Doesn't hold back tells it as it was, warts and all.

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

Very Entertaining

Very Entertaining and great insight into to a professional rugby career (and what a career!). Thanks James.

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

Haskell always entertains.

Great insights. Very funny stories. Haskell always entertains. A good insight to the players view.

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

Had me in tears of laughter

Such a great insight into a professional rugby players life. Playing rugby at club and university myself I could relate to a lot of the scenarios James found himself in and thrives within. The characters, the team environments, the stories and the shenanigans. It literally had my in stitches of laughter.

James is an a true inspiration and I wish him well onto his next ventures

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

Well done James!

A thoroughly enjoyable listen not just for the rugby insights but also the wider anecdotes that puts alot of things into perspective.

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 Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 04-10-21

Do yourself a favour!

A rugby autobiography like no other. A real 'behind the scenes'!! Absolute Legend! Hilariously funny!

  • 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
  • 23-09-21

Love it

Laughed a lot!! Anyone who is a rugby fan should definitely have a listen. Whether you are a Haskell fan or not you will definitely hear some of the great stories about professional rugby, his playing days days and also importantly get his side of the stories and drama the media loved to dramatise! Cracking book. Well done Hask 👍🏽

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Black Arrow
  • Black Arrow
  • 02-09-21

Laugh out loud funny

Being a fan of James podcast I purchased a copy of his book in audio format. Fantastic fun and highly recommended even to those not interested in Rugby.

  • 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