Newport RFC

Last updated

Newport RFC
Newport rfc logo.png
Full nameNewport Rugby Football Club
Union Welsh Rugby Union
Nickname(s)Black & Ambers
Founded1874;148 years ago (1874) [1]
Location Newport, South Wales
Ground(s) Newport Stadium, Newport (Capacity: 5,058)
ChairmanWill Godfrey
Coach(es)Craig Warlow
Captain(s)Adam Brown
Most caps David Waters, 702
Top scorer Daniel Griffiths, 1,551
Most tries Arthur Gould, 159
League(s) Welsh Premier Division
2021–222nd
Kit left arm black hoops.png
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body blackhoops.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm black hoops.png
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks hoops black.png
Kit socks long.svg
1st kit
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body black sleeve seams.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks long.svg
2nd kit
Official website
www.blackandambers.co.uk

Newport Rugby Football Club (Welsh : Clwb Rygbi Casnewydd) is a Welsh rugby union club based in the city of Newport, South Wales. They presently play in the Welsh Premier Division. Until 2021 Newport RFC were based at Rodney Parade situated on the east bank of the River Usk.

Contents

Every major rugby union touring team to visit Wales has played at Rodney Parade, and all of them were beaten at least once in the twentieth century by a side who, in 1951, played in the match at Cardiff RFC that attracted what was, a world-record crowd of 48,500 for a rugby union match between two clubs. [2]

In addition to matches against all the major national sides a highlight of the Newport season was the annual match against the Barbarians, ensuring that the Newport fans enjoyed watching world-class players to supplement the Welsh internationals who were a common feature of the 'Black and Ambers'.

Newport supplied over 150 players to the Wales national team and international players to England, Scotland, Ireland, South Africa, Czech Republic, Canada and Fiji as well as over 80 Barbarians.

Following the regionalisation of Welsh rugby in 2003, Newport RFC are now a feeder club to the Dragons regional team.

In March 2017, sale of Rodney Parade to the Welsh Rugby Union was agreed following a vote of Newport RFC shareholders. [3] The takeover was completed on 27 June 2017 and work started to install a hybrid grass pitch for the 2017–18 rugby and football season. [4]

In October 2021 Newport RFC relocated their home matches to Newport Stadium whilst agreeing with the WRU to play two matches per season at Rodney Parade. [5]

History

1874–1914

The 1904-05 team Newport rfc 1904.jpg
The 1904–05 team

Newport RFC were formed in 1874 under the financial backing of the Phillips brewing family, and the playing talents of former pupils of Monmouth School, [6] a public school which had adopted rugby union in 1873. [7] Newport was originally intended as an association football club, but was unable to find any opponents, but they managed to organise a rugby match against Cardiff RFC, and in 1875 played Cardiff in both clubs' first-ever game. [6]

Newport’s early success was remarkable, winning every match in their first four seasons between 1875 and 1879. [8] They were also successful in other tournaments winning the first two South Wales Cup competitions. [9] The club’s strength was reflected at international level, providing more players to the Welsh national team than any other club in the nineteenth century, including four captains. In 1881 Newport was one of the eleven clubs present at the forming of the Welsh Rugby Football Union, [10] and provided six players in the first Welsh international match, more than any other club. [11]

Scrum between Newport and London Welsh, 31 December 1904 Rugby scrum 1904.jpg
Scrum between Newport and London Welsh, 31 December 1904

Partially due to their geographical location Newport also played against more established clubs from England and in 1878 a game was arranged against Manchester Athletic followed by games against Birmingham, Clifton, Gloucester and Swindon. Their dominance led Newport’s club secretary, Richard Mulloch to arrange a match against the English domestic champions Blackheath Rugby Club. With a record attendance of 5,000 spectators Newport were out-classed by their opponents, losing four goals and eight tries to nil. However, Newport had played two games in the previous five days and Blackheath brought in outside players to bolster their squad. [12]

In October 1879 Newport played Cardiff RFC in a floodlit game at Rodney Parade; the first ground to have floodlights installed in Wales. [12]

In 1887, Newport player Charlie Newman was given the captaincy of the Welsh national team, he was the first Newport player to achieve this honour. In 1887 Newport player Tom Clapp was given the Wales captaincy and in 1888 he led the first Welsh side to beat Scotland, a team that included Newport players Powell and Gould. During the 1891–92 season, under captain Tom Graham Newport went unbeaten, winning 29 games and drawing four. Graham brought a new professional attitude to the team, introducing weekly gym training and an avoidance of alcohol. [13]

In 1912 Newport hosted the touring South Africa national team, and beat them 9 points to 3. [14]

1919–1939

1945–2003

In 1963 Newport, captained by Brian Price, claimed perhaps their greatest victory by defeating New Zealand led by Wilson Whineray 3–0. This turned out to be the All Blacks' only defeat on their 1963 tour. [15] The club was granted Freedom of the City of Newport on the 50th anniversary of this victory. [16]

After rugby turned professional in 1995, Newport initially struggled, being relegated after finishing bottom of the eight-team Welsh Premier Division in 1998, only to be reinstated after Cardiff and Swansea 1998–99 Welsh rugby union rebel season over a dispute with the WRU. [17] After staying up, Newport then moved to full-time professionalism for the 1999-2000 season with the help of benefactor Tony Brown, who financed marquee signings including former South Africa captain Gary Teichmann. The first game of the season against Cardiff drew a crowd of almost 7,000, the biggest since the visit of the All Blacks in 1989. [18] This was accompanied by a rise in season ticket sales from 700 the previous season to 3,300, with a further increase to 4,000 expected the following year. [19]

In 2003, Newport merged with Ebbw Vale to form the Gwent Dragons side (soon renamed Newport Gwent Dragons) as part of the Introduction of regional rugby union teams in Wales. Newport RFC continued to compete as an amateur side in the Welsh club league.

2003–Present

Newport finished the 2021–22 Indigo Group Premiership in second place, having sat the top of table of most of the season. They did, however, win the Premiership Cup with a 25–21 victory over Aberavon at the Millennium Stadium. [20]

Club honours

British and Irish Lions

The following former players were selected for the British and Irish Lions touring squads whilst playing for Newport RFC. Newport hold the record for the number of players from one club selected for a British Lions Tour with eight Newport players being selected for the 1910 British Lions tour to South Africa.

  

Wales International Captains

The following former players captained the Wales national rugby union team whilst playing for Newport RFC.

  

Other notable former players

  

Current squad

Newport RFC Squad 2022/23 [23]

Newport RFC squad

Props

Hookers

  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Harry Bee
  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Jack Gillard
  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Williams Griffiths
  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Henry Palmer

Locks

  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Joe Bartlett
  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Elliot Ferriman
  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Dan Hill
  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Craig Hudd
  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Ryan Woodman

Back row

  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Alex Gray
  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Rhys Jenkins
  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Ben Moa
  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Josh Reid
  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Ben Roach
  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Joshua Skinner
  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Kyle Tayler
  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg George Young

Scrum-halves

  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Dafydd Buckland
  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Luke Crane
  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Che Hope
  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Geraint Watkin

Fly-halves

Centres

  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Harri Ackerman
  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Oli Andrew
  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Jack Brooks
  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Chay Foster-Smith
  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Cameron Lewis
  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Tom Richards
  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Dafydd Smith

Wings

  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Elliot Frewen
  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Lloyd Lewis
  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Jonathan Morris
  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Cole Swannack

Fullbacks

(c) denotes the team captain.

Games played against international opposition

YearDateOpponentResultScoreTour
188826 DecemberFlag of New Zealand.svg  Māori Loss0–3 1888 New Zealand Māori tour
190523 DecemberFlag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand Loss3–61905 Original All Blacks tour
190627 October Flag of the United Kingdom.svg South Africa Loss0–8 1906 South Africa rugby union tour
190819 DecemberFlag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Loss3–5 1908–09 Australia rugby union tour of Britain
191224 OctoberSouth Africa Flag 1910-1912.svg  South Africa Win9–3 1912–13 South Africa rugby union tour
19242 OctoberFlag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand Loss10–13 1924–25 New Zealand tour of Britain, Ireland, France and Canada
192722 September Flag of Australia (converted).svg New South Wales Waratahs Loss3–20 1927–28 Waratahs tour of the British Isles, France and Canada
19318 OctoberFlag of South Africa (1928-1994).svg  South Africa Loss3–15 1931–32 South Africa rugby union tour
193531 OctoberFlag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand Loss5–17 1935–36 New Zealand rugby union tour of Britain, Ireland and Canada
194723 OctoberFlag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Loss4–8 1947–48 Australia rugby union tour
195212 JanuaryFlag of South Africa (1928-1994).svg  South Africa Loss6–12 1951–52 South Africa rugby union tour
195421 JanuaryFlag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand Loss6–111953–54 All Blacks tour of the British Isles, France and North America
195723 NovemberFlag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Win11–0
196330 OctoberFlag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand Win3–0 1963–64 New Zealand rugby union tour of Britain, Ireland, France and North America
196623 NovemberFlag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Draw3–3 1966 Australia Tour of Britain and France
196912 NovemberFlag of South Africa (1928-1994).svg  South Africa Won11–61969 South Africa Tour of UK
197310 JanuaryFlag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand Loss15–20 1972–73 New Zealand rugby union tour of the British Isles
19749 OctoberFlag of Tonga.svg  Tonga Win14–61974 Tonga Tour of the British Isles
19767 JanuaryFlag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Loss7–13 1975–76 Australia rugby union tour of Britain and Ireland
198028 OctoberFlag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand Loss3–14 1980 All Blacks tour
198530 OctoberFlag of Fiji.svg  Fiji Loss6–71985 Fiji tour of the British Isles
198931 OctoberFlag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand Loss9–541989 New Zealand rugby union tour of the British Isles and Canada
200118 NovemberFlag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay Win59–52001 Uruguay rugby union tour of Wales

See also

Bibliography

Related Research Articles

The Welsh Rugby Union is the governing body of rugby union in the country of Wales, recognised by the sport's international governing body, World Rugby.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dragons RFC</span> One of the four professional Rugby Union regional teams in Wales

Dragons RFC are one of the four professional rugby union regional teams in Wales. They are owned by the Welsh Rugby Union and play their home games at Rodney Parade, Newport and at other grounds around the region. They play in the United Rugby Championship and the European Rugby Champions Cup/European Rugby Challenge Cup. The region they represent covers an area of southeast Wales including Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport and Torfaen with a total population approaching 600,000 and they are affiliated with a number of semi-professional and amateur clubs throughout the area, including Pontypool RFC, Caerphilly RFC, Cross Keys RFC, Ebbw Vale RFC and Newport RFC.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rugby union in Wales</span> National sport of Wales

Rugby union in Wales is considered a large part of Welsh national culture. Rugby union is thought to have reached Wales in the 1850s, with the national body, the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) being formed in 1881. Wales are considered to be one of the most successful national sides in Rugby Union, having won the most Six Nations Championships, as well as having reached 3 World Cup semi finals in 1987, 2011 and 2019, having finished 3rd in the inaugural competition and having finished 4th in 2011 in a repeat of the first third place play-off. The Welsh team of the 1970s is considered to be arguably the greatest national team of all time, prompting many experts in the game to suggest that had the Rugby World Cup existed during this period, Wales would be amongst the list of World Cup winners. As of November 2021, they are ranked 8th in the world.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cardiff RFC</span> Welsh rugby union club, based in Cardiff

Cardiff Rugby Football Club is a rugby union club based in Cardiff, the capital city of Wales. The club was founded in 1876 and played their first few matches at Sophia Gardens, shortly after which relocating to Cardiff Arms Park where they have been based ever since.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Abertillery RFC</span> Rugby team

Abertillery Rugby Football Club is a Welsh rugby union club based in Abertillery. According to their website, they were founded in 1883 by a coal miner named Doug Wallace who was a local resident who moved from Scotland in 1882, Wallace was known for his commitment for the club until he died in 1899 and will be remembered as a special part of the club even to do this day. Every year the club celebrates Wallace's life by competing in a cross country race with 100s of the locals competing in the last 10 years Mr Phelps has won the race 10 times and is now the all-time leading winner in the competition, in one year he run the race twice before anyone had cross the line for the first time.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rodney Parade</span> Stadium in Newport, Wales, United Kingdom

Rodney Parade is a stadium in the city of Newport, South Wales, owned and operated by the Welsh Rugby Union. It is located on the east bank of the River Usk in Newport city centre. The ground is on Rodney Road, a short walk from the city's central bus and railway stations via Newport Bridge or Newport City footbridge. There is no spectator car park at the ground but a number of multi-storey car parks are nearby.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ebbw Vale RFC</span> Rugby team

Ebbw Vale Rugby Football Club is a Welsh Rugby Union Club based in the town of Ebbw Vale, Blaenau Gwent, South Wales.

Nathan Brew is a former Welsh international rugby union player. Brew played in the centre and on the wing.

Blaina Rugby Football Club are a Welsh rugby union club based in Blaina in the county borough of Blaenau Gwent in Wales. They presently play in the Welsh Rugby Union Division Three East league and are a feeder club for the Newport Gwent Dragons.

Rhymney Rugby Football Club is a Welsh rugby union club based in Rhymney in Wales. The senior team presently plays in the Welsh Rugby Union Division Two East league. Rhymney is a member of the Welsh Rugby Union and is a feeder club for the Newport Gwent Dragons.

Chepstow Rugby Football Club is a rugby union team from the town of Chepstow, in Monmouthshire, Wales. The club is a member of the Welsh Rugby Union and is a feeder club for the Newport Gwent Dragons with a Mini age groups from under 6's to under 15's].

Blaenavon Rugby Football Club are a Welsh rugby union club based in the town of Blaenavon, South Wales. Blaenavon RFC is one of the older members of the Welsh Rugby Union founded in 1877 in the Iron and coal town of Blaenavon and is a feeder club for the Newport Gwent Dragons.

Jason Tovey is a retired Welsh rugby union player who played at fly-half. He has represented the Wales under-20.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tommy Vile</span> British Lions & Wales international rugby union footballer

Major Thomas Henry Vile MBE was a Welsh international rugby union player. He played club rugby predominantly for Newport, captaining the side twice and played county rugby for Monmouthshire. He also represented the British Isles in Australia, and after retiring from playing became an international referee. He fought in both World Wars, became a president of the Welsh Rugby Union, was a Justice of the Peace, businessman and High Sheriff of Monmouthshire.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bob Gould (rugby union)</span> Wales international rugby union footballer

Bob Gould was a Welsh international rugby union forward who played club rugby for Newport Rugby Football Club. He won 11 caps for Wales and captained them for one match. Gould is best known within the sport of rugby as the brother of Arthur 'Monkey' Gould, one of the first superstars of Welsh rugby.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tom Pearson (rugby union, born 1872)</span> Rugby player

Thomas William Rory Pearson was a Welsh international wing who played club rugby for Cardiff and Newport and county rugby with Middlesex. He won 13 caps for Wales and captained the team on one occasion, against England. Pearson was an all-round sportsman, representing Wales not only in rugby, but also in squash, tennis, hockey and golf. In 1902 Pearson was given the captaincy of the Welsh hockey squad, while playing for Newport Hockey Club.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Charlie Newman</span> Rugby player

Charlie Newman was a Welsh international three-quarter who played club rugby for Newport. He was awarded ten caps for Wales and captained the team on six occasions. An original member of the Newport squad he captained the team in the 1882/83 season.

Glyn Davidge was a Welsh international flanker who played club rugby for Tredegar and Newport. He was awarded nine caps for Wales and toured with Arthur Smith's 1962 British Lions squad.

Jack Whitfield was a Welsh international rugby union hooker who played club rugby for Newport and club rugby for Monmouthshire. He was an extremely powerful scrummager, but was not seen as skillful as the pre-war players produced by Wales.

Reg Plummer was a Welsh international, rugby union wing who played club rugby for Newport and invitational rugby with both the Barbarians and Crawshays RFC. He won five caps for Wales and was selected for the British Lions 1910 tour of South Africa, though he did not play in any of the test games.

References

  1. The Welsh Academy Encyclopaedia of Wales. John Davies, Nigel Jenkins, Menna Baines and Peredur Lynch (2008) pp782 ISBN   978-0-7083-1953-6
  2. Parry-Jones, David (1989). The Rugby Clubs of Wales. p. 96. ISBN   0-09-173850-4.
  3. WRU buy Rodney Parade.
  4. "Tough start fine by Exiles boss as pitch work is set to begin". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  5. Newport RFC relocate to Newport Stadium
  6. 1 2 Smith (1980), pg 25.
  7. Smith (1980), pg 23.
  8. "Interesting Facts". historyofnewport.co.uk. Archived from the original on 21 August 2007. Retrieved 17 November 2007.
  9. Smith (1980), pg 34.
  10. Smith (1980), pg 41.
  11. Smith (1980), pg 40.
  12. 1 2 Smith (1980), pg 35.
  13. Smith (1980), pg 71.
  14. Smith (1980), pg 189.
  15. Newport beat New Zealand.
  16. "Newport rugby freedom presentation". Newport City Council. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  17. "Rugby Union: Great Welsh divide". Independent.co.uk . 28 August 1998.
  18. "Rugby Union: Sun rises on bright new Newport era: Newport 18 Cardiff". Independent.co.uk . 5 September 1999.
  19. "Profit of doom for pro rugby".
  20. "Match report: Newport RFC v Aberavon". South Wales Argus. 24 April 2022. Retrieved 6 November 2022.
  21. Smith (1980), pg 485.
  22. "- the history of rugby through its competitions". Archived from the original on 7 December 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  23. Newport RFC Squad