League Publications Ltd has been publishing an annual Yearbook since 1996, and in that time it has evolved to become the definitive guide to the Rugby League year, both in Europe and, to a slightly lesser extent, Australasia.
Edited by my colleague Tim Butcher, and designed by Daniel Spencer, who is also the book’s statistician, I can say with some confidence that if you want to know anything factual about the Rugby League season, you will find it in the Yearbook.
If you are a serious student of Rugby League you can’t afford to be without it.
And this year’s Yearbook is bigger than ever.
Compared to previous years, for example, this year it has two major international sections.
Not only does it cover the 2013 World Cup, which was concluded too late to be included in last year’s Yearbook.
It also covers the excitement of this year’s Four Nations tournament that gave us so much remarkable rugby last month in Australia and New Zealand.
But the Yearbook offers much more than an account of the 2014 season.
As always, it lists every player who has ever played in the Super League competition since its inaugural year in 1996.
And that section of the book is a mine of information that gives rise, potentially, to hundreds of question to ask in a Christmas quiz, if that’s what you enjoy doing.
For example, eight players have each played for six separate clubs in Super League. How many of them can you name?
Who is the only player who turned out for Paris St Germain in their two seasons in Super League, and then played for the Catalans Dragons when they entered Super League a decade later.
Which player made just three Super League appearances, all of them from the bench, and each of them for a different club?
Which player has played more Super League matches than anyone else?
And how many players made their Super League debuts in 2014?
My guess is that whatever your answer to the last question, you will underestimate the true number.
But the crucial thing is that you can see for yourself who all the debutants are by checking the information on page 182 of the book.
On the other hand, you may want to check who the longest serving players is at your club, and the information is there for you on page 315.
It’s interesting to see, for example, that the longest serving Salford player is Danny Williams, who made his debut as recently as 17 July 2011, such has been the turnover of players at the AJ Bell Stadium.
And, whichever club you support, whether in Super League, the Championship or Championship One, you can check your teams full results, scorers and teams for every game it played last season.
And for Super League clubs there is a news digest that lists all the key events at your club that happened during 2014. And on the same page are the club records for each Super League club.
And, looking ahead, the Yearbook contains all the fixtures for all three divisions for 2015.
This year the Yearbook is sponsored by Down Under Leisure, and I would like to thank the company for its support.
And I would like to thank in particular Tim and Danny, who have pulled off yet another remarkable achievement, producing a book that any sport would be proud of.
If you love Rugby League, then I’m confident you’ll love the Rugby League Yearbook.
You can click here to order a copy now for immediate delivery from the TotalRL.com Shop, saving £3 on the cover price with free UK delivery too. A Kindle edition will also be released in mid December.
Martyn Sadler is the editor of League Express