This Saturday afternoon at WH Smith, Richmond, pioneering rugby coach Phil Larder and co-author Nick Bishop will be chatting with fans and signing copies of The Iron Curtain: My Rugby Journey from League to Union.


Why not drop by if you’re heading to nearby Twickenham for the England vs. Australia Rugby World Cup action? (Please see full event details below).


In a book that will appeal to rugby lovers of both codes, Phil reveals the sources of his coaching inspiration, the players he loved working with in league and union, the secrets of his defensive innovation, and gives his frank views on the English Premiership and the two Lions tours in which he was involved.


The Iron Curtain tells Phil Larder’s incredible story and divulges his coaching secrets.

  • Early Days. How Phil first became interested in both codes of the game as a youngster in Oldham, and became ‘a man apart’ as a result.
  • Transition from League to Union. Along with John Muggleton in Australia, Phil was rugby league's first coaching pioneer in switching codes.
  • Lost Opportunity. The story of the 2001 Lions in Australia, with English preparation techniques and professional attitudes far in advance of their Celtic team-mates.
  • Preparation. Analysis of how England prepared for particular teams that opposed them and the secrets of Woodward’s ‘war room’.
  • World Cup Triumph. The inside story of how England built up their playing and cultural values after the relative failure of the 1999 World Cup, wrangles with the club moguls and getting the RFU on board with Woodward’s ‘new model army’.
  • Disaster. The dissolution of English rugby success after Woodward's departure, which in turn led to Phil’s sacking.
  • Life in the Premiership. Phil’s life at Worcester and the pressures of working in the Premiership – part-time and from Spain!


Event details:

This Saturday 3 October – 12.00 midday until 3.00pm.

Book signing with Phil Larder and Nick Bishop.

WH Smith, 16/17 George Street, Richmond-upon-Thames.

Tel: 020 8940 3671


Click here for more information, or to read a sample from The Iron Curtain:

My Rugby Journey from League to Union