This encyclopedic history of rugby in both of its codes may fairly be considered definitive. Its great length will surely limit its appeal to rugby enthusiasts, and really the author makes little effort to draw in new fans, but the book is invaluable in its niche, for the game has attracted very little academic or even systematic literature. It is difficult to identify ways in which the book could be shortened (though I could have done with fewer, or at least less verbose, match accounts, player biographies, and the chapters on the two world wars were primarily exercises in jingoism). I would happily have traded most of that for fuller description of rules changes, especially in the scoring of the game; these vital topics are handled cursorily, if at all, and large portions of the book would probably make a lot more sense if one knew what the rules were at any given time. I was happy to see that both codes are given basically equal emphasis, and the author injects his interesting viewpoints on the current economics and structure of the game..