For the second episode of the Balls Book Club podcast, we've interviewed Tom English, author of the informative and illuminating 'No Borders', which is an oral history of Irish rugby from 1945 up until the 2015 World Cup. In the book, the history of Irish rugby is told by the people who made it and in this podcast, English explains how 'No Borders' came to be.
English tells the pod he was inspired by other oral histories, namely Tom Hauser's iconic 'The Life and Times of Muhammad Ali'.
'No Borders' spans a huge amount of time: it starts with Jackie Kyle in 1945 and ends on a positive note right before the start of the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Pretty much every major figure in the history of Irish rugby speaks as the book charts the highs and many, many lows of the Ireland team down through the years.
Listen below for a fascinating chat about how the Irish rugby team managed co-exist as an all-Ireland entity throughout the Troubles and then rise from the depths of despair in the 1990s to become the biggest show in town during the O'Driscoll era.
No Borders is published by Polaris. You'll find info on purchasing it here.