Our Game celebrates the grassroots of our national game—rugby played by weekend warriors and embryonic All Blacks, far from the steely glare of stadium lights. It takes place in snow and mud in the south, on sun-parched plains in the north, on provincial fields, in back paddocks, back lawns and on beaches. This is the origin of the sport in New Zealand, the font of future McCaws, junior Jonahs, mini Meads’, and its greatest legacy.
As much as it is a sport of the people, rugby is a sport of the landscape. Taking in these themes, New Zealand Geographic photographer Arno Gasteiger has captured the sport, the heart and soul of New Zealand, and the landscape in which it is played. Coupled with an enlightening, humorous commentary by writer and rugby enthusiast Peter Malcouronne Our Game is an honest, heartfelt and at times irreverent vision of the game as it is known by all New Zealanders.
“Rugby and the All Blacks, by the legacy they have created, over 110 years, has helped to ensure New Zealand is respected throughout the world. Our Game reflects the backbone and the heartbeat, the foundation stones to that legacy. It is very apparent, that Malcouronne and Gasteiger have entered this venture with a love of the game and a love of the country that it’s played in. That’s their passion and that’s what they’ve portrayed in Our Game in a special way. Outstanding in every respect.”
All Blacks Coach, 2004-2011
“When you get older and achier—and when you hear fevered declarations of reverence for the jersey (and rubbish about franchises and brands)—you forget what a wondrous game this is. Our Game, with its fabulous photos and prose, reminds you that a love affair with rugby is necessarily lifelong. It takes you back to frostbitten fields with too-long grass and swarming schools of kids replete with frozen feet having the time of their lives. And what can be better than that?”
All Black, 1996-2001, 2003-2007
“Our Game is full of colour and insight, and it bores deeper than is usual in our books ‘about’ sport. Most rugby books commend the game, and glorify players, and little else. Malcouronne and Gasteiger have done something that’s quite a bit different. This is an excellent book.”
Writer, poet, essayist
“Messrs Malcouronne and Gasteiger have captured the grunting and farting in lineout and scrum and the glorious slap slap slap as the pill is passed along the backline. All that and the smell of mud and sweat. Tears too. There are a lot of books in this genre. This is one of the very best.”
Journalist, rugby writer