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Pope's in mix for top book gong

HERALD rugby analyst Brent Pope has been shortlisted for the prestigious 2013 British Sports Book Awards.

In what is being described as the awards' strongest-ever shortlist, Pope has been selected for his autobiography, If You Really Knew Me.

The popular adopted Irish-Kiwi is set to go toe-to-toe against a who's who of the sporting and literary worlds, among them famed athlete Sebastian Coe and Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins.

The shortlisted authors will contest categories representing the most high-profile sports in Europe, with Brent Pope's tome competing for the illustrious title of Rugby Book Of The Year. The awards will be held in London on May 21.

Pope said: "I'm thrilled just to be included in such a prestigious competition, especially given that the book is published in Ireland, and not the United Kingdom. I'm delighted the book has touched so many people."