When Munster Beat the All Blacks
The true story of one of the greatest days in rugby history; now includes a new foreword by Paul O'Connell
'My name is Gerry McLoughlin. I used to be a rugby star. Some called me "Locky", others "Ginger". No one called me a coward. A long time ago I played for Munster against the All Blacks. What happened that day can never happen again. The only man who believed we could win was Tom Kiernan, our coach. He could make you believe no team was unbeatable, not even the All Blacks. He said we had the chance to make history.'
When Graham Mourie's touring party set out from New Zealand in 1978, few gave their opposition a chance. The All Blacks took the northern hemisphere by storm; it seemed no team could stand in their way. But one did. Not the Wales of J P R Williams or a star-studded Barbarians' XV, but an unrated provincial side from the south of Ireland coached by a man named Tom Kiernan: Munster.
More than 100,000 people claim to have seen Munster beat the All Blacks at Thomond Park, Limerick, even though the ground could only hold 12,000. Now Alan English sets out the real story of that day in October 1978, through the eyes of those who were there and those who made it happen. The day Munster beat the All Blacks has long since passed into legend, yet the truth is more compelling than fiction.
“Among the best books ever written on Irish sport”
“Brilliant ... The definitive account. It captures the essence of what makes Munster rugby and its provincial team so unique. For those of us centrally involved it drags us back in time as if the intervening 27 years haven't happened at all”
Tony Ward, Irish Independent
“The most engaging book on rugby that I've read in many a year - well researched, splendidly put together with a deft control of narrative. The craft of the novelist with the graft of a hack - it's a winning formula”
Mick Cleary, Daily Telegraph
“A terrific combination of intelligent reportage and open-eyed mythmaking”
“A mine of information on a mythical day in Irish sport”
“A marvellously evocative page-turner”
Book of the Month, Rugby World
“The book slaps a preservation order on that time. Read it”
Independent on Sunday
“Sports writing at its finest”
Scotland on Sunday