Book Reviews: Intriguing Insight into Life of Rugby Legend; Paddy Johns: The Quiet En4cer by Richard Bullick and Fiona Neary. Published by Sportswrite. Pounds 10.99

Article excerpt

Byline: RICHARD MULLIGAN

DURING his career in rugby, Paddy Johns has always been referred to by the press as the ''quiet man''.

With the publication of his official biography this week, Paddy Johns: The Quiet En4cer, people can get to know the real star of Ulster and Irish rugby - an insight into his life and rugby career from schooldays through university, to juggling work as a dentist and professional player with marriage and parenthood.

Written by The News Letter's rugby journalist, Richard Bullick and Ulster and Ireland women's star, Dr Fiona Neary, the biography into the fourth most capped player in Ireland is an inspiration to any young person who wants to follow in big Paddy's footsteps, while to rugby and sports fans in general, it is a must-have in the bookcase.

A strong narrative provides the context and serves as a commentary on a defining period in Irish rugby history, with the authors and Paddy analysing some of the major changes to have affected the sport in the past decade.

Johns won 59 caps for Ireland, captained his country 10 times, including on the stormy South African tour of 1998 and to victory at Wembley, won silverware with a Saracens side, including legends Francois Pienaar, Michael Lynagh and Philippe Sella (who all give commentary in the book!) and captained his beloved Dungannon to the All-Ireland league title.

Packed with anecdotes and analysis, the book provides a fascinating insight into some of the main characters of Irish, European and world rugby during the past decade-and-a-half and contains Paddy's frank assessment of the leading players he has played with and against, as well as coaches he has played under. …