The launch issue of Rugby journal sells readers a bit of a dummy. The cover presents a strikingly stark layout, with Wasps and England star James Haskell photographed in black and white, his massive wingspan framing acres of white space. A geometric rugby ball icon is the only other decoration on the page, suggesting an ultra-minimal approach to this notoriously muddy, bloody, messy sport.
But get into the magazine and the clean lines and empty spaces disappear – it seems this minimalism stems from a love of no-nonsense simplicity rather than any stylistic ideal. (The clue is in the name – ‘Rugby’ is just about as straight to the point as you could hope to get.)
As you’ll see from the video below, I think Rugby journal is at its best when it’s telling unheard stories from around the rugby world. It does a great job of communicating the passion and romance that keeps grassroots clubs going, and profiles several unsung heroes whose strength and determination are being put to good use both on and off the pitch. If you enjoyed watching the Six Nations over the weekend, there’s a lot to like in this independent newcomer…
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