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Blink scores The Boys of Winter, Dallaglio and Slot’s definitive inside story of England’s Rugby World Cup triumph

Blink Publishing, a non-fiction imprint of Bonnier Books UK, will publish the definitive account of the 2003 Rugby World Cup, The Boys of Winter, by former England Captain Lawrence Dallaglio with chief sportswriter for The Times Owen Slot. 

Publisher Matt Phillips acquired world all language rights from David Luxton at David Luxton Associates.

Twenty years on, England legend Lawrence Dallaglio and writer Owen Slot tell the definitive inside story of England’s historic 2003 Rugby World Cup triumph through interviews with all those involved, revealing how the team planned it and executed it: the iconic memories as well as the unseen moments.

The book also reveals what has become of those heroes of our youth – how the tournament has shaped the lives of those involved, for better or worse. For many it was the pinnacle, for some a missed opportunity and for others a curse from which they never recovered. 

This is the definitive account of a legendary sporting moment and an examination of the costs of our dreams.

Matt Phillips said: “Lawrence and Owen have written an unmissable treasure trove of a book for rugby fans and all those who remember that iconic Jonny Wilkinson drop goal. The book features unprecedented access to everyone who was involved, with the drama on the pitch only matched by the incredibly powerful and poignant stories of the band of brothers who lived it and what has happened to them since.”

Lawrence Dallaglio said: “This is a book about a special group of people that worked so hard to achieve our dream. It has been a privilege to look back on these cherished memories in conversations with all my teammates and the staff that were there at the time. None of our lives were ever the same afterwards and this book has taken me on a journey of discovery about that event and the impact it had on all of us. I can’t wait to share it.”

Owen Slot said: “Covering England’s 2003 World Cup was one of the highlights of my life as a sportswriter. What a privilege to go back and revisit it but from the inside, with the hindsight, honesty and bared souls that, 20 years later, add layers to one of the greatest national sports stories.”

Lorenzo Bruno Nero Dallaglio OBE, known as Lawrence Dallaglio, is an English retired rugby union player, former captain of England, and 2016 inductee of the World Rugby Hall of Fame. He played as a flanker or number eight for London Wasps and England, for whom he played 85 times.

Owen Slot is chief sports writer at The Times. A three-times winner of UK sports reporter of the year and three-times sports feature writer of the year, Owen has covered every Rugby World Cup since 1995.

The Boys of Winter will be published in hardback, audio and eBook on 31st August 2023, with the paperback following in 2024.