Siggins, Gerard: Rugby Flyer (Rugby Spirit).
Rugby Flyer (Rugby Spirit)
O'Brien, 2016, pp176, 6.99[pounds sterling]
978 1 84717 819 0
This is the fourth rugby adventure featuring Under 15 rugby star Eoin Madden, who not only excels at his sport but also has the gift of talking to ghosts. A warm and gentle story--even the bad guy is soon given his comeuppance. Eoin is a Munster fan but plays rugby for his school in Dublin, where he is spotted by a Leinster coach. He and his best friend Dylan are both invited to attend simultaneous Summer camps, Eoin for Leinster, Dylan for Munster. Here professional coaching will give the best youngsters the opportunity to take part in a Europe-wide knockout competition in London, culminating in a final at Twickenham.
Eoin's grandfather lives next to a semi-derelict house which once belonged to a Russian, Mr Lubov. The house is too inviting for Eoin and Dylan not to explore. Here they meet the ghost of Lubov's nephew, who played rugby for England before the Second World War. When his grandfather gives Eoin a trinket which had been owned by Lubov, to bring him luck at the tournament, Eoin's curiosity is aroused, and we are swept along by the mystery of the Russian ghost and the jewelled trinket as much as by the unfolding narrative of the rugby tournament.
The tournament comes to its conclusion with Roy of the Rovers suspense and excitement (wrong sport I know). The passages describing the play will enthuse not just rugby fans, but are skilfully written to engage those for whom rugby is a bit of a mystery. The mystery of the ghost and the trinket is resolved, and Eoin comes to a very mature decision as to what to do about it. The prose flows easily, the characters are well drawn, and we are with Eoin and his friends and rivals as the story progresses. All very enjoyable.