Rugby League journalist Steve Mascord has written one of the finest sports books of 2017 in his memoir Touchstones. Steve’s twin passions – Rugby League and hard rock – gave him a career and took him around the world. Yet as he lived his life constantly on the move, game-to-game and gig to gig, Steve began to realise that he might be trying to outrun his own story. And what a story it turns out to be. Steve sits down with Francis Leach to discuss Touchstones, his love affair with Rugby League and why heavy metal is the one true rock religion.

Presented by the Sports Writers' Festival in association with the Sydney Writers' Festival. 

| The Sports Writers Festival is a tribal gathering of writers and readers who share a passion for sport and great writing. |

Steve Mascord (Australian)


Steve Mascord is a writer and journalist specialising in rugby league and rock music. He is a regular contributor to newspapers, radio and television around the world and runs websites and a podcast as well as writing books. Outlets include the Sydney Morning Herald, Classic Rock presents AOR, Rugby League Week, Hot Metal magazine, Triple M, On The Street, Forty 20 magazine, Juke magazine and Rugby League World. Steve is married to Sarah Ryan and splits his time between Sydney and London.

Francis Leach (Australian )


Francis Leach is a broadcaster and journalist who has played all over the ground. Now a member of the SEN 1116 broadcast team, Francis covers A-League and Socceroos football, AFL & NRL action, amongst other sports. He’s a regular panelist on ABC TV’s Sunday Sports show Offsiders and Sideliners, often pinch-hitting on Network 10’s The Project talking sport. Through the media, Francis has racked up significant game time, and he’s also well-known on twitter as @SaintFrankly where he is a leading opinion-shaper.