Books authored by Sean Fagan

The First Lions of Rugby - visit publisher's page to purchaseTHE FIRST LIONS OF RUGBY

The first British Lions & their barnstorming Rugby & Aussie rules playing tour of Australia of 1888.

“…a rare sporting story that holds interest for fans of rugby and fans of Australian football.” — The Age, Melbourne

The captivating story of the first British Lions and their history-making rugby and Aussie rules playing tour of Australia and New Zealand. An epic eight month, 54-games expedition of high drama, personal tragedy and great adventures in the Victorian era of Sherlock Holmes, Jules Verne and Jack the Ripper.

Renowned rugby codes historian Sean Fagan tells a thrilling story in these pages – one that is based on hundreds of hours of research of archives in Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain, during which he meticulously uncovered the lost and enthralling tale of a band of rugby missionaries of so long ago.

“Fagan’s book sheds light on a fascinating and controversial tour. It is entertaining, beautifully written & meticulously researched. You certainly won’t be disappointed.” — Lesley Smith, ‘The Yorker’ (Journal of the Melbourne Cricket Club Library)

“A rattling good yarn.” — Spiro Zavos, The Sydney Morning Herald


Paperback 304 pages plus 8 pages of glossy b&w photos/drawings; match results table, post tour timeline 1888-1914; 1888-written guides to playing rules of rugby & Aust rules.
Published by Slattery Media 2013. ISBN 978-0-9875002-7-4. Order from book shops/websites in Australia.
Download at Apple iTunes
Read/watch The First Lions of Rugby media/reviews etc: Lions1888
Ordering from UK, NZ, USA & outside Australia: ABC Shop

Purchase Centenary Edition of The Rugby Rebellion (Pioneers of Rugby League)THE RUGBY REBELLION

“Its revelation is fascinating.” — The Sydney Morning Herald

In its second print run (re-titled as Pioneers of Rugby League), this now iconic book has been acclaimed by historians and supporters of both rugby codes.

In a revealing and entertaining way it retraces how rugby became so popular and successful in Australia by 1907, that the game itself came to be fought over in a dramatic and bitter battle between League and Union.

“Revelations of biblical proportions for rugby (league and union) tragics – continually springing surprises in the style of a real-life thriller.” — The Illawarra Mercury


Paperback 432 pages, b&w photos throughout, bonus statistics/tables & extra articles.
Pioneers of Rugby League (The Rugby Rebellion) is available to order via book shops Australia wide (distributed by Dennis Jones & Associates – refer ISBN 9780975756300).
Buy now for $14.95 via or BookSourceOnline
UK published edition available via London League Publications

The Master - The Life and Times of Dally Messenger THE MASTER – THE LIFE & TIMES OF DALLY MESSENGER

“A very worthwhile read.” — Inside Sport

Dally Messenger was an Australian sporting superstar in the early years of the 20th century – a rugby league immortal, rugby union champion, and the most popular sporting personality of his era. He represented the Kangaroos in rugby league, the Wallabies in rugby union, and also played for New Zealand in the 13-man code.

Thousands of fans in Australia, England and Wales flocked to footy grounds when he was playing, and he his still revered as an icon in both codes to this very day. The son of a professional rower, he led the push for footballers to be allowed to fairly share in the financial profits of the game.

“An engrossing tale.” — The Daily Telegraph, Sydney

Paperback 396 pages, 8 page insert of glossy b&w photos, career statistics, longest drop & place kicks. Published by Hachette Australia 2007. ISBN: 9780733622007.
Order from book shops/websites in Australia, or download via Apple iTunes store or Amazon Kindle
Search at Abebooks for used copies.

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