Sunday, March 16, 2014

New sport biography from author David Riley

Offloading with Sonny Bill Williams by David Riley (2014)

Author teacher David Riley has hit the right note with another biography about a rugby league star – this time Sonny Bill Williams (SBW). David opens with a training session that gives the essence of SBW’s ethos – he treats the sport as a professional job and wants to learn from everyone around him. He often turns up to training sessions with an exercise book and pen ready to take notes. It has often inspired others, especially younger players, to do the same.

We find out that SBW started rugby league at six years old and always threw himself into the game. At Intermediate and High school coaches wanted him to play league and union for the school but his heart was first with league. Interestingly, he is still having that tug-of-war in his adult years.

We learn that SBW has also played American Football and boxing – he shows no fear – but had to give them up for rugby. We hear about SBW’s choices that got him into hot water and how he has tried to correct that as he has matured. We get the minute-by-minute commentary and scoring of important games, extra facts that complement other text on that page, and colour photographs from a variety of sources. At the back we read tips and life’s lessons from SBW, see a list of his favourite things, and a timeline of his life.

David has written a comprehensive biography about one of the world’s most popular sport stars. Years 5 – 10 boys (and girls) will thoroughly enjoy reading how SBW has gone from being a local boy into one of the World Cup rugby league and union legends. Essential for all school libraries!

Available as a print and e-book from all good book stores and by emailing:

Or order direct from his website

See an exhibit about the inspiration for David's book at the National Library from Friday 21st March until 20th April and at the Gala Night on Friday 28th March, 6pm, National Library. RSVP if you'd like to come along: mariagill at  All invited!


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