Owen Williams – Cardiff Blues #StayStrongForOws

 

The Trustees of the Welsh Former International Players Association (WREX) have decided to donate £25,000.00 to injured Cardiff Blues Player Owen Williams. A presentation was made by Trustees John Dawes (Chairman), J.J. Williams (Secretary) and Sir Stanley Thomas to Owen and his parents at Rookwood Hospital. Mr. J.J. Williams said that the money donated will go towards Owen’s care after he leaves hospital.

 

Alex Cuthbert and Cory Allen receive a cheque for £25,000.00 presented by the WREX Charity towards the ‘Care’ of Owen Williams after he leaves hospital. The cheque was presented in the WREX Room after the Wales V. Ireland Game. Alex Cuthbert and Cory Allen are seen accepting the cheque from Trustees of the Charity Gareth Edwards, J.J. Williams, JPR Williams and Russell Jenkins. Also present was Mr. Clive Rowlands who is the President of WREX.

 

All the Ex-Internationals who were present in the WREX Lounge after the Irish Game wishes to send their support to Owen and his family and wish him well in his recovery.

 

 

WREX Celebrity Golf Day – St. Pierre Golf & Country Club, Chepstow – Thursday 18th June 2015

The Welsh Rugby Former International Players Association (WREX Ltd) is holding a Celebrity Golf Day at the St. Pierre Golf and Country Club on the 18th June 2015.

It will be a 4 Baller complete with Pre-Golf refreshments followed by a Dinner and Evening Entertainment following the golf.  Each team will be guaranteed a celebrity to join them if they so wish.

All monies raised will be given to the Former International Players Benevolent Fund, which provides help to all Former Players in their life after rugby.  It is a very active Charity that has helped many International Players who are suffering from old injuries, illnesses,  or other welfare if required.

It will be a very special golf day with numerous celebrities in attendance, and those who have attended the WREX Dinner will know of the high calibre entertainment and organisation that we provide.

The cost per team will be £500.00 and we are limiting the day to 30 teams. Mr. Albert Francis will be arranging this event on our behalf. Accommodation can be provided at a discounted rate if required.

For inquiries and application forms please contact us via the website contact form: Click this link to contact us!

Mercedes Benz Hall of Fame – 21st November 2014

 

The 2014 Hall of Fame was this year sponsored by Mercedes Benz, which was the 9th Hall of Fame event we have held. The evening began by an inspirational welcome by Mr Clive Rowlands who is the WREX President. A wonderful evening was had by more than 500 guests with John Taylor (London Welsh) and Gethin Jones (TV personality) comparing this prestigious event. This year the Welsh Former Players Association inducted eight ex Internationals into their own prestigious Hall of Fame. The recipients were; Ray Prosser Pontypool), Stuart Watkins and Keith Jarrett (both Newport) Allan Martin (Aberavon) Jeff Wheel (Swansea), Paul Thorburn (Neath), John Devereux (Bridgend) and Stephen Jones (Llanelli). Presentations were made by Charlie Faulkner, Brian Price, Willie John McBride, Dennis Gethin, John Dawes, Dafydd James and Phil Bennett.

 

Wonderful entertainment was provided by Max Boyce, Sophie Evans and Martin Toal. Following the entertainment the Welsh Former Players had decided to induct Max Boyce into the Players Hall of Fame for his contribution to Welsh Rugby over the last few decades. Gareth Edwards made this presentation to Max and the evening was rounded off by the Cardiff Blues choir who was joined for the anthem by Sian Cothi.

 

Special thanks must go to Mercedes-Benz for their generous sponsorship for this event, also to the Swalec Stadium, for providing a fabulous and colorful venue. Steve Spiers (Big Al – Stella) made the presentations to all of the raffle winners, and we would like to thank all our generous auction suppliers especially Honda and Mr Roger Lewis of the WRU.

 

The event was a massive success with the ex players charity benefiting considerably from the generous donations and support from the paying guests, and the association would like to thank everyone concerned for their generosity on the night.

 

 

Previous Hall of Fame Inductees

After our 9th Hall of Fame Dinner took place recently, here is a reminder of all previous inductees:

 

Previous Inductees:

2002

Harry Bowcott

Viv Jenkins

Bleddyn Williams

Jack Matthews

Clive Rowlands

Delme Thomas

Gareth Edwards

Ieuan Evans

Neil Jenkins

 

No.8 2003

John Gwilliam

Alan Pask

Mervyn Davies

Scott Quinell

 

Outside Half Factory 2004

Cliff Morgan

David Watkins

Barry John

Phil Bennett

Jonathan Davies

 

Pontypool Front Row 2005

Anthony Faulkner

Graham Price

Bobby Windsor

 

London Welsh Connection 2006

Gerald Davies

John Taylor

John Dawes

JPR Williams

 

2007

Bryn Meredith

W D Morris

J.J. Williams

Terry Holmes

Rob Howley

 

2008

Terry Davies

Derek Quinell

Bob Norster

Scott Gibbs

2011

Russell Robbins

Denzil Williams

Steve Fenwick

Robert Jones

Gareth Thomas

5 outside halves 1

 

New season 2009 – 2010

The 2009/2010 Season is fast approaching and again the WREX Room will be open for all Autumn Internationals as usual –

Dates:

Autumn 2009

November 7th – New Zealand –  K O –  5.15pm
November 13th – Samoa         –  K O  – 7.30pm
November 20th – Argentina     –  K O  – 2.30pm
November 28th – Australia     –   K O – 5.15pm

Six Nations 2010 –

February 13th -Scotland        –    K O – 2.00pm
February 26th – France         –    K O – 8.00pm
March 20th – Italy                   –    K O – 2.30pm

The same procedure as last time will prevail. Guests who are not accompanied by an Ex-International will not be allowed into the room. We have to insist in this as some Ex-Players are still giving away their passes and not attending themselves. We do not want the room full of guests!

The application letters for passes will be posted out soon and the wrist bands will be posted nearer to the games. Please note, that those of you who have given your e-mail address will be notified in this way. If is much easier for us to correspond through e-mails and therefore if you have not sent it to us please do so immediately.

The WREX Charity will be holding another Charity Dinner on the Thursday (25th February 2010) before the Friday game against France. This will be held as last year in a ‘Grande Marquee’ on the Cardiff Arms Park site. We hope everyone will support this event as all money raised will go towards the Former Players Charity.

Regards,

J.J. Williams.

oldside1

2005/2006 Season review

After an outstanding 6 Nations in which the Welsh Team won the Grand Slam in 2005, the Welsh public are looking forward to the Autumn Internationals with great anticipation.

New Zealand are the Tri Nations Champions but were lucky to beat Wales in 2004 – Joe Rokocoko being their saviour, South Africa have a very strong side at present though Australia appear to be somewhat on the wave – they seem a little short on strength of depth.

The Welsh Side is very confident at present and a first win against the All Blacks since 1953 is a definite possibility. They will certainly put up a better effort than the 2005 British and Irish Lions.

However, New Zealand and South Africa are quality sides and have selected very experienced squads.

There will be tremendous interest in Wales as always. I feel very pleased for the loyal supporters who have waited patiently for so long to see a change in our fortunes – 2 wins out of three would be an excellent achievement.

JPR Williams

2005 British and Irish Lions – Relying on past reputations

I was astounded to read that Sir Clive Woodward said that this tour was the toughest ever faced by the Lions in New Zealand. I wonder what Dr Jack Mathews, who had to sail to New Zealand and pay a hefty deposit before they played a game, thought of that comment!

Phil Bennett would have had a wry smile thinking of his tour, which had rain every day. It made me think of my own tour of 1966, which was five and a half months long with 35 games, including 7 tests, not a paltry 3 tests in 10 games.

Another claim he made was that it was to be the best-prepared side to leave these shores. 51 players, numerous coaches, cooks, medical staff, lawyers and of course a Spin Doctor. Compare that to the norm of 30 players and 2 back up staff and you could half believe his theory, but of course it all fell apart because of those huge numbers.

He was correct to have an idea of what his test side was going to be before he left, but where he was hopelessly wrong was in the personnel he selected and the fact they had not played together until the 1st test in Canterbury.

When you bring players together from 4 countries to go on a Lions Tour they must have time to work out combinations and to find out who is playing well, rather than just relying on reputations made sometime in the past. Short Lions Tours are not to the advantage of the visitors, plus the fact that the players hardly have the opportunity to savour the country they are touring.

Disaster struck in the first test, the lineout disintegrated. It was explained away, by Alistair Campbell I suppose, saying that the Kiwis had found out the codes being used and they had to change them at the last moment, what a load of rubbish! Most people put defeat down to an aged English dominated selection, plus the unfortunate incident involving Brian O’Driscoll.

That defeat sealed the fate of the 2005 Lions. It appeared to me that there was panic and a sense of trying to please Public demands in the future selections. Where had all the careful planning disappeared?

The Welsh contingent showed up well, Dwayne Peel, Gethin Jenkins and Ryan Jones deserved their Test Places. Tom Shanklin was unlucky with Injury, Stephen Jones was never given the correct game time and Gavin Henson’s form was undetermined by horrendous media hype. Others such as Michael Owen and Shane Williams showed brilliant patches, but missed out because of the physical element.

Martyn Williams can count himself the unluckiest of all. Two lions tours and just 5 minutes on the test arena. He played his heart out in every game; repeatedly proving he was the best open-side on tour and yet only given those last five minutes as a consolation.

Sir Clive Woodward now takes his ‘talents’ to Southampton FC it will be interesting to watch their progress in the next few years.

Brian Price
Wales and British Lion

Wales 32 Ireland 20 – Grand Slam

Wales claim their first Grand Slam since 1978 with a historic victory in Cardiff. A truely great day for Mike Ruddock, his team and the people of Wales.

 

Country

Points

Wales

10

France

8

Ireland

6

England

4

Scotland

2

Italy

0

 

 

Wales 32 (16)

  • Tries: Jenkins, Morgan
  • Cons: Jones 2
  • Pens: Henson, Jones 4
  • Drop: Henson

Ireland: 20 (6)

  • Tries: Horan, Murphy
  • Cons: Humphreys 2
  • Pens: O’Gara 2

Wales:
K Morgan; M Taylor, T Shanklin, G Henson, S Williams; S Jones, D Peel; G Jenkins, M Davies, A Jones, B Cockbain, R Sidoli, R Jones, M Williams, M Owen (capt).
Replacements: R McBryde, J Yapp, J Thomas, R Sowden-Taylor, M Phillips, C Sweeney, S Parker.

Ireland:
G Murphy; G Dempsey, B O’Driscoll (capt), K Maggs, D Hickie; R O’Gara, P Stringer; R Corrigan, S Byrne, J Hayes, M O’Kelly, P O’Connell, S Easterby, J O’Connor, A Foley.
Replacements: F Sheahan, M Horan, D O’Callaghan, E Miller, G Easterby, D Humphreys, G Duffy.

Referee: Chris White (RFU).

harry_bowcott

JJ’s pre match comment – Welsh flair at last

When Wales won the Grand Slam in 1978, I never in my wildest dreams thought that a rugby mad Country like Wales would have to wait 27 years to win another one. Here we are only days away from history being made or are we once again to experience a false dawn. In 1988 and 1994 we were on the verge of winning the Grand Slam only to stumble at the last hurdle – but this time there is genuine optimism in the air and its all down to one thing – Welsh flair at last.

The rugby being played by the team is wonderful – its what we’ve all been waiting for – to see counter attacking, finger tip passing by forwards and backs alike makes us all sit at the edge of our seats in raptures.

The tries scored this season have been amongst the best – in fact even when we lost games against South Africa and New Zealand we still managed to score some magnificent tries. Perhaps in Scotland it was too easy but still the attitude to move the ball from deep positions is what a true Welsh rugby person from past eras were brought up in by tradition.

We hope this style will continue on Saturday but against the Irish it will be ten times more difficult than against the Scots. I am sure that Mike Ruddock will be wary (not that they need to be told) by players of the ferocity and pressure of the Irish, but with super cool Stephen Jones controlling events, I am sure we’ll weather the storm and go on and continue in the same mode as we’ve seen all season.

I believe we have more pace out wide and a better back row around the field. However the Irish will attempt to win this game up front and attack our line-out and scrum. One English so-called expert has said that the Welsh pack is not good enough – well I can only say that they have given our backline plenty of ball so far this season and Saturday will be no different.

So lets hope we are celebrating in the WREX room after the game – but even if we lose we can still enjoy the fact that it has been a great season with great memories of great tries and hopefully go into the summer with the Lions in New Zealand with most of this Welsh Team in its ranks.

J.J.Williams Grand Slam Team Member 1978

Scotland 22 Wales 46 – Record win at Murrayfield

After a first-half demolition of Scotland, Wales’ hopes of a Grand Slam are still on track despite a weak performance in the second half.

Wales now face Ireland on Saturday with the aim of winning their first Grand Slam since 1978.

Scotland: Paterson, R Lamont, Craig, Southwell, S Lamont, Parks, Cusiter, T Smith, Bulloch, Kerr, Grimes, Murray, Taylor, Petrie, Hogg.
Replacements: Henderson for Craig (76), Ross for Parks (41), Blair for Cusiter (44), Douglas for Kerr (41), Hines for Grimes (41).

Wales: Morgan, R Williams, Shanklin, Henson, S Williams, S Jones, Peel, Jenkins, Davies, A Jones, Cockbain, Sidoli, R Jones, M Williams, Owen.
Replacements: Luscombe for R. Williams (68), Sweeney for Henson (76), McBryde for Davies (50), Yapp for A Jones (63), J. Thomas for Cockbain (71).

Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)