Times sports writer Alison Kervin is to be given an advance of more than £100,000 to write a biography of England rugby coach Sir Clive Woodward.
It is expected to be the first major biography of the man who steered England to victory in the World Cup.
Kervin writes on rugby for The Times and authors a weekly in-depth sports interview for the paper.
The details of the deal with publisher Orion are still being finalised, but the book is expected to be released next year.
Kervin said: “There is something obvious and rational about him, but there’s also a deeply enigmatic side.
He’s fiercely proud, passionate and ruthlessly ambitious but remains decent, honourable and desperately likeable. I think he’s one of the most fascinating men in modern sport.
“I’ve been involved in rugby for a long time and the story in English rugby has been the story of Woodward for quite a long time now.”
When Woodward took over from Jack Rowell as England rugby coach at the end of 1996, Kervin was editor of Rugby World.
She said: “They almost turned to Woodward because they didn’t know who else to give it to and because he was coach of the A team. It didn’t seem to be a long-term thing, but he slowly developed this system that worked.”
Kervin is a former rugby player and coach and was the first female presenter of the BBC Two programme Rugby Special.
By Dominic Ponsford