‘Rugby is great for the soul,’ he writes, ‘but terrible for the body.’
Rugby hurts. It demands mental resilience and resistance to pain. It explores character, beyond a capacity to endure punishment.
Dylan Hartley, one of England’s most successful captains, tells a story of hard men and harsh truths. From the sixteen-year-old Kiwi who travelled alone to England, to the winner of ninety-seven international caps, he describes with brutal clarity the sport’s increasing demand on players and the toll it takes on their mental health, as well as the untimely injury that shattered his dreams of leading England in the 2019 World Cup.
The Hurt is rugby in the raw, a unique insight into the price of sporting obsession.
‘Few have had more twists and turns in a pro rugby career’ Robert Kitson, Guardian
‘Anyone who cares about the game, in which he won 97 caps for England and played 250 times for Northampton, should read Hartley’s book’ Don McRae, Guardian