The Oval World cover

Winner of the 2016 Aberdare Prize for Sports History Book of the Year.

Shortlisted for the Cross Sports Book Awards for the best rugby book of 2016.

Named by the Guardian, The Times and The Sunday Times  as one of the sports books of the year 2015.

Rugby World's 'Book of Month', June 2016.

'Combines the passion of the true enthusiast, a forensic eye for evidence and an ability to tell a compelling story.' Guardian

‘A rugby bible by a history prof who knows how to tell a story - it will take you from the origins to today, novice to expert.' Sports Illustrated.

'Tony Collins narrates this history with magisterial skill, weaving in de- tails of matches with the wider historical and social picture.' Mihir Bose, The Independent.

'This is a truly global history. ... Such details, combined with Tony Collins's ability to situate them within wider social and economic contexts, ensures that readers won't look at the Webb Ellis Cupin the same way again.' Tom Bradshaw, Times Literary Supplement.

'Collins' groundbreaking book.' Dominic Green, The Atlantic.

A 'marvellous, magisterial and occasionally mischievous masterpiece on 'the life and times of the game and the world it created. Scope, style and scholarship; a splendid global history of rugby.' No Side, newsletter of the Rugby Memorabilia Society.

'The Oval World is similarly as impressive as it is comprehensive.' Phil Caplan, Forty20.

'Truly the definitive work on the game by one of the great experts on the topic. Readable, exhaustive, grand in scope, carefully crafted, it's a mother lode of material in a book long overdue project.' Harvey Frommer, Epoch Times.

'This history, with its blend of academic rigour and sprightly story-telling, is timely'.  Nick Phipps, The Sunday Times.

'A whopping great history of this great game of ours ... Definitive.' The Rugby Paper.