Jean-Pierre Rives epitomised the French rugby tradition of flair coupled with guts and glory. He captained the team a record 34 times, gaining 59 caps in all, the first against England in 1975. He led France to the Grand Slam in 1981 and was inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame.
After retiring, this most charismatic of flankers – his long blond hair stood out as he led by example, turned to sculpture and painting, hence the title of this book. He exhibits regularly at prominent public venues all over the world and was awarded the Order of the Legion of Honor and the National Order of Merit by the government of France. He divides his time between the South of France and California.
Before French rugby writer Richard Escot’s persistence paid off and Rives told him, ‘OK, come down to the atelier and we’ll see what happens,’ little was known about the former player – beyond, that is, what Jean-Pierre considers to be an extravagant reputation.
Previously he had guarded his silence; now, in a series of eight conversations, Rives reveals himself to be a natural talker, prepared to provide an insight both into his unique character and what it is like to play rugby at the highest level.