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Autobiography of Prop legend Buchanan chronicles dramatic changes seen in rugby since the 70s

Although he only won a handful of international caps for Wales, Anthony Buchanan’s career is unique in that it spans both the playing and administrative side of the game and bridges Welsh rugby’s momentous shift from the amateur days to professionalism. His love for the sport, for Ystradgynlais and Llanelli shines through in a new autobiography, entitled The Buck Props Here! (Y Lolfa) which has been written by Anthony and journalist and writer Geraint Thomas.

As ex-International Rugby Referee Nigel Owens says in his Testimonial:

“It’s refreshing to see a biography from this era and it’s important to show the present generation what the game was like in the amateur days before the advent of professional and regional rugby.”

Author Geraint Thomas agrees, and says:

“Not only is Anthony’s journey fairly unique and inspirational, his story plays out against the backdrop of the shaping of modern rugby in Wales, making it an important documentation of the transition from the amateur days of club rugby to the professional era of today. But best of all, it is laced with the humour and camaraderie which used to be the root cause of why so many of us played the game, at any level, in days gone by.”

Anthony was one of the last working colliers to play for Wales, answering an SOS call to play in the Triple Crown decider against Ireland in 1988 whilst in the middle of a shift underground. Wales won 12 points to 9. His rugby-playing career spanned ten seasons for Llanelli and he was selected for Wales in the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987.

In his Foreword, ex-Llanelli and Wales coach Gareth Jenkins says that Anthony Buchanan was “[a] very determined and focused individual… My relationship with Anthony is probably the longest I’ve enjoyed in my life, and it’s built upon respect, regard and admiration for the type of man he is and what he’s achieved.”

His autobiography follows his life story from his childhood love of football – even refusing to play rugby at school; his late start in rugby, only getting involved at the age of 22 to impress the barmaid at his local club, who would later become his wife Alana; to being a firm favourite of the Stradey Park faithful.

Of writing his memories down in The Buck Stops Here, Anthony Buchanan says:

“Writing the book has been a great experience and opportunity to reflect back on my life and memories in rugby. This will be a special record of the opportunities that rugby gave me. There is no doubt the game of rugby football has changed over the decades and I believe for the better of the game. The law changes, the improvement in medical awareness has now made the game a lot safer and I look forward to seeing my

grandsons playing the game that gave me so much enjoyment and pleasure.”

His retirement from playing coincided with the game going professional and he became the first paid team manager in the Welsh game with his beloved Llanelli. As a trusted confidant of Gareth Jenkins, he is ideally placed to comment on Llanelli’s transition from club to region, not to mention the birth of European rugby.

The Buck Props Here delivers an informed insight into the state of the region and the game in general today and provides a unique, insightful chronicle of the most dramatic changes the game in Wales and beyond has ever seen. A natural raconteur, Buck also provides behind-the-scenes look at the rugby world that is always laced with humour and told with typical Valley’s humour.

As former Chairman of the International Referees Selection Panel, he discusses his frank opinions of the impact of Television Match Officials on the game; the career of Nigel Owens; and the infamous red card issued by Alan Rowlands to Sam Warbuton in the 2011 Rugby World Cup semi-final.

As Nigel Owens says: “[Anthony Buchanan] has quite rightly earned his place amongst the Llanelli Scarlet faithfuls.”