We've been waiting for someone to redevelop the tired rugby magazine format with some clever indie art direction and production values. So we were over the moon when The Rugby Journal appeared.
As it happens, Rugby is not that magazine. It's something much better. How easy it would have been to take a blazing, photography-led approach to butching up what is already one of the most visceral games in sport. Rugby instead opted for a storytelling approach that's not fixated with known names at the top tier, but with everyone involved with game, in our largest cities to the most far-flung places. In fact it's the focus on the grass roots elements of rugby that gives the magazine its individuality and satisfactions: juniors, factory teams, the clubhouse. The precious things that underpin any sport, but underscrutinised when it comes to rugby. Of course there are plenty of big names, and the interviews are, thankfully, proper long-form interrogations.
If you love rugby you'll need this.