Campbell Burnes has written on rugby since 2000 for a wide variety of publications, both in print and online, whilst also contributing to television and radio shows. His major gigs have seen him at Rugby News magazine (2005-12), in which he covered 50 Test matches, and the New Zealand Herald (2014-17). Burnes is one of the few in rugby media to have played international rugby, having appeared for Manu Samoa in 1995 and 2000 (seven games) as a No 10.Read more exclusive columns
Book review: 2018 Rugby Almanack
Campbell Burnes 16 Mar 2018 James May
While the All Blacks and their season record always lie prominent in the early pages, some of the most interesting stuff is to be found towards the back, where lies the schools wrap, the first-class stats and the obits. The latter are always fascinating and while the deaths of Piney and DJ are faithfully noted, there is good, previously unseen, information on the likes of Tom Lister and Sandy McNicol.
One of the features of the 2018 Rugby Almanack (the NZ tag is superfluous) is that, for the first time, a woman adorns the cover. Not just any woman, mind you. One of the great Black Ferns warriors, Fiao’o Fa’amausili, is shown with the Women’s Rugby World Cup, her fourth and the team’s fifth such silverware.
To those who think the Black Ferns have just started carving up in recent times, here is one for you: between 1991 and 2009, our national women’s team lost just one international, to England in 2001. That is amazing.
One of the editors, Clive Akers, is a long-time supporter and advocate of women’s rugby and this Almanack has 82 pages devoted to women’s rugby, more than ever.
Turn to page 259 for the popular Happenings section, where you will discover that Asafo Aumua is the eighth All Black who debuted before appearing in Super Rugby. You will know that Todd Miller was the first in 1997, and he did so just months after returning overweight from a two-year Mormon mission.
The Almanack NZ XV tends to follow the All Blacks selectors (why would you not?), but the editors have plumped for Matt Todd over Ardie Savea.
We could go on. But if you are a true rugby fan who loves your stats and accurate information, you know where to go. Almanack first, internet second.
Introducing the first female to ever appear on the cover of the NZ Rugby Almanac - Fiao'o Fa'amausili! #IWD2018 pic.twitter.com/OYXHzh7sQm— Black Ferns (@BlackFerns) March 8, 2018