SA Rugby Annual 2014 - even better
There is one product of South African rugby that stands out head and shoulders above any others - the SA Rugby Annual, incomparably the best in the world.
We are often criticise aspects of South African rugby, great though it always is, but there is one product of South African rugby that stands out head and shoulders above any similar product of any other country's rugby - the SA Rugby Annual, incomparably the best in the world.
And the 2014 edition is the best so far, but then each year it seems to surpass what happened the year before. It is a mine of easily accessible information.
News came this week that SARU was inviting applicants for the positions of head coach and manager of SA Schools for international matches later this year. I wondered who last year's incumbents were and so I picked up the 2014 Annual, flipped open a page and there was my answer. It's wonderful.
If you want information about South African rugby's past - who won the Currie Cup in 1946, a 1938 Test result on Port Elizabeth, a try-scorers in Wellington in 1998, the school of a provincial player, whether a player played SA Schools , what Tests Davey Cope played in and what points he scored or whatever else you are arguing about - it's in the Annual.
It's own blurb says: 'The SA Rugby Annual has become essential reading for every player, coach, manager, administrator, sponsor, agent and fan. The 2014 edition, as always, makes a perfect gift for any rugby-mad son, brother, father, uncle, grandfather, nephew – or practically anyone else who can't wait for the new season to kick off.
'As usual, the 2014 SA Rugby Annual records the more than 200 first-class matches involving South African teams in 2013, as well as the detailed biographies of each and every one of the more than 750 players who appeared in those matches – for whom the book therefore doubles as an invaluable keepsake to be passed down to children and grandchildren.
'The 2014 SA Rugby Annual paints an unbeatable picture of a memorable year in South African rugby but also records the sport's rich history with its comprehensive records section, which includes the career details of every player to have ever won Springbok colours since 1891 – from the very first, Benjamin Duff, to the newest Bok, Lourens Adriaanse.
'And just when you thought the 2014 SA Rugby Annual couldn't chronicle the Springbok saga in any more detail, it lists the details of each and every one of the nearly 800 matches the men in green and gold have played over the past 122 years.
'But the Annual doesn't only cover the Springboks – inside its packed 512 pages you'll find detailed tournament reviews of everything from Vodacom Super Rugby and the Absa Currie Cup and Vodacom Cup to the Cell C Community Cup, FNB Varsity Cup, Coca-Cola Craven Week, HSBC Sevens World Series and even the SA Women's matches.'
Bless the editor Duane Heath and his exceptional team.
The Annual is freely available in leading bookstores, such as CNA and Exclusive Books, and from Kalahari.