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Phil Bennett - The Autobiography
Phil Bennett
ISBN: 9780007162550 (0007162553)Dyddiad Cyhoeddi Mawrth 2004
Cyhoeddwr: HarperCollins, Llundain
Golygwyd gan Graham Thomas Fformat: Clawr Meddal, 177x112 mm, 352 tudalen Iaith: Saesneg Archebir yn l y galw Ein Pris: £7.99   
Does dim Adolygiad Cwsmer i'r teitl hwn.
Ysgrifennwch Adolygiad Cwsmer
Hunangofiant maswr talentog a fu'n gapten ar dîm cenedlaethol Cymru a thîm rhyngwladol y Llewod yn ystod oes aur rygbi Cymru yn yr 1970au, yn cynnwys ei farn onest am y dirywiad yn llwyddiant tîm rygbi Cymru yn yr oes broffesiynol.

The autobiography of a talented outside-half who captained both the Welsh national side and the international British Lions team during Welsh rugby's Golden Era, comprising his honest views on the detrimental effects of professionalism on Welsh rugby.
Phil Bennett was the most entertaining outside half to play for Wales. His first cap made rugby history as he became the first substitute to play for his country at the Stade Colombes against France in March 1969. He came on for one minute, replacing the injured Gerald Davies, the only sensible grounds for substitution in those days.

His autobiography was published in hardback in 2003 and this softback edition contains an updating final chapter taking in the 2003 World Cup and Hansen’s era. It comprises 310 pages, 18 chapters, and the overall theme is the success of the 70s and the subsequent decline of Welsh rugby. The first chapter begins with his last game against France and Wales achieving the Grand Slam in 1978, and ends with the 50 point defeat in Wembley in 1998 against the same country. The theme is controversially returned to and analyzed throughout the book.

The structure of the Welsh Rugby Union and its decision-making are a prime target: their refusal to appoint Carwyn James as National Coach, to acknowledge the expertise of players from the prolific 70s, and the stupidity of sacking Tony Gray after winning the 1988 Triple Crown. The coaches are individually analyzed and he is strongly in favour of the development of Heineken Cup rugby. All of us who watched this year’s semi-finals will agree.

The two chapters on Llanelli are undoubtedly the best, looking at the huge influence of Carwyn James and latterly the lack of financial expertise post 1995, and the contribution of the Quinnell family. I felt that his chapters on the Lions tours in which he participated – 1974 in South Africa and 1977 as Captain to New Zealand – were shallow considering his involvement and naïve in his attitude to South Africa. If the book finished after the first 12 chapters it would be much better. The final 6 chapters are make-weight, really fillers lacking substance – World XVs, top ten out halfs, rugby legends etc.

In conclusion, a pot pourri of a book, some telling observations but mixed with a blandness that did not characterise his game.

Geoff Edwards

It is possible to use this review for promotional purposes, but the following acknowledgment should be included: A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council.

Gellir defnyddio'r adolygiad hwn at bwrpas hybu, ond gofynnir i chi gynnwys y gydnabyddiaeth ganlynol: Adolygiad oddi ar www.gwales.com, trwy ganiatâd Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru.
Does dim Adolygiad Cwsmer, hyd yma, i'r llyfr hwn.
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