Shane Webcke's memoir Warhorse was the surprise bestseller of 2006, with sales of 40,000 trade paperbacks. Now, in Hard Road, Webcke brings his story up to date and turns his tough and uncompromising gaze to the game of rugby league itself - free to say what he really thinks now that he's no longer a contracted player.
Webcke gives us the inside running on the dramatic 2006 finals series, including the controversial coaching strategy employed by the Brisbane Broncos in the lead-up to their 2006 NRL Premiership triumph. From the highs of that euphoric victory to the lows of getting lost in the post-retirement maze, Webcke's unflinchingly honest and down-to-earth views are both revealing and insightful.
Webcke then tackles the game of rugby league in Australia and shows no mercy. His sometimes brutal honesty on everything from Wayne Bennett quitting the Broncos and players drunken behaviour, to the inclusion of a disgraced Joey Johns in the Team of the Century and rugby league's rivalry with rugby union, will send shockwaves through rugby league's administrators, the media, the players and the game's fan base. Webcke's strong, commonsense suggestions for the future of the game in Australia throw down a gauntlet to the game's administrators, and will make the league sit up and pay attention.