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David Watkins (rugby)

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Title: David Watkins (rugby)  
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Subject: 1978 Kangaroo tour, Wales national rugby league team, Newport RFC, David Watkins, Crawshays RFC players
Collection: 1942 Births, Abertillery Rfc Players, Barbarian F.C. Players, British and Irish Lions Rugby Union Players from Wales, British Rugby League Administrators, Crawshays Rfc Players, Dual-Code Rugby Internationals, Ebbw Vale Rfc Players, Glamorgan County Rfc Players, Great Britain National Rugby League Team Coaches, Great Britain National Rugby League Team Players, Living People, Members of the Order of the British Empire, Monmouthshire County Rfc Players, Newport Rfc Players, People from Blaina, Pontypool Rfc Players, Rugby League Centres, Salford Red Devils Captains, Salford Red Devils Players, Swinton Lions Players, Wales International Rugby Union Players, Wales National Rugby League Team Players, Wales Rugby Union Captains, Welsh Rugby League Coaches, Welsh Rugby League Players, Welsh Rugby Union Players
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David Watkins (rugby)

David Watkins
Personal information
Born (1942-03-05) 5 March 1942
Blaina, Wales
Playing information
Height 5 ft 6 in (168 cm)
Weight 10 st 3 lb (65 kg)
Rugby union
Position Fly half
Years Team Pld T G FG P
Abertillery RFC
Ebbw Vale RFC
Pontypool RFC
1961–67 Newport RFC
1962 Barbarian F.C.
1962–67 Crawshays RFC
Total 0 0 0 0 0
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1963–67 Wales 21 2 3 15
1966 British and Irish Lions 6 2 2 12
Rugby league
Position Three-quarter back, Fullback
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1967–79 Salford 407 147 1,241 2,907
1979 Swinton
Total 407 147 0
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1968–79 Wales 16 2 34 4 74
1971–74 Great Britain 6 0 3 0 6
Coaching information
Years Team Gms W D L W%
Cardiff City Blue Dragons
Years Team Gms W D L W%
Great Britain

David Watkins MBE (born 5 March 1942 in Blaina)[1] is a Welsh former dual-code rugby international, having played both rugby union and rugby league football for both codes' national teams between 1963 and 1974. He captained the British and Irish Lions rugby union side and made six appearances for the Great Britain rugby league team.[2]


  • Playing career 1
    • Rugby union 1.1
    • Rugby league 1.2
  • Coaching career 2
  • Administration 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Playing career

Rugby union

Watkins joined Newport RFC in 1961–62 from Cwmcelyn Youth but played odd games for Ebbw Vale RFC and Pontypool RFC while still a youth. He became a Wales Youth International. He made his début for Newport against Penarth RFC on 2 September 1961. In his first season with Newport RFC the team won the Welsh Championship. Watkins played for invitational team the Barbarians during his first season for Newport in 1962.

Watkins made his international début in 1963, at the age of 20 for Wales against England partnering Clive Rowlands. He was a key figure in Newport's epic win over Whineray's 1963 New Zealand All Blacks. He was vice captain of Newport under Brian Price in 1963–64 and went on to captain them for three seasons 1964–65, 1965–66 and 1966–67. He set the club dropped goal record of 14 in 1966–67, in all he scored 228 points including 55 dropped goals for Newport. He never played on the losing side for Newport at sevens. In 1967 Watkins assembled his own team to enter the first ever Glengarth Sevens at Davenport Rugby Club where he won the main competition.

Watkins led the Lions in two tests in Australia in 1966. He set up position for Uzzell's drop goal and kicked a penalty to draw with Australia in 1966. He played 21 times for Wales (including the 1964–65 Triple Crown) and was captain three times in 1967.

Against Years
England  1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967
Ireland  1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967
France  1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967
New Zealand  1963
Scotland  1963, 1964, 1965, 1966
South Africa  1964

Rugby league

In October 1967 Watkins signed to play rugby league, joining Salford for £15,000, a then club record. He was Salford's captain in 1967 and also in the Challenge Cup Final in 1969 when they were beaten by Castleford.

Watkins became Salford's record points scorer and steered them to victory in the Lancashire Cup Final in 1972 by beating Swinton at Wilderspool, Warrington. In the 1972–73 season he kicked a world record 221 goals in a season. He also holds the longest scoring run record in 92 consecutive matches for Salford from 19 August 1972 to 25 April 1974. He totalled 929 points from 41 tries and 403 goals. The record refers to scoring consecutively for one club and does not include representative matches. He led Salford to the Championship in 1974. Watkins retired after being injured on the 1974 Australasian tour.

Watkins played Centre, i.e. number 3, and scored 1-try and 5-conversions in Salford's 25-11 victory over Swinton in the 1972 Lancashire Cup final during the 1972–73 season at Wilderspool Stadium, Warrington on Saturday 21 October 1972, played Centre, i.e. number 3, and scored 1-try and 3-conversions in the 9-19 defeat by Wigan in the 1973 Lancashire Cup final during the 1973–74 season at Wilderspool Stadium, Warrington on Saturday 13 October 1973,[4] and played Fullback, and scored 2-conversions in the 7-16 defeat by Widnes in the 1975 Lancashire Cup final during the 1975–76 season at Central Park, Wigan on Saturday 4 October 1975.

Watkins did not play (Gordon Graham played Centre) in Salford's 0-0 draw with Warrington in the 1974 BBC2 Floodlit Trophy final during the 1974–75 season at The Willows, Salford on Tuesday 17 December 1974, and played Centre, i.e. number 4, and scored 2-conversions in the 10-5 victory over Warrington in the 1974 BBC2 Floodlit Trophy final replay during the 1974–75 season at Wilderspool Stadium, Warrington on Tuesday 28 January 1975. He played in all eight of Wales' matches in the 1975 Rugby League World Cup tournament. For the 1975–76 Northern Rugby Football League season Salford won the Championship by finishing as League Leaders but lost the Premiership final. Watkins played for Salford at fullback, kicking two drop goals in the loss to St Helens RLFC. He finished that season as the League's top point scorer. Watkins' Testimonial match at Salford took place in 1977. During the 1978 Kangaroo tour Watkins captained Wales from fullback in their match against Australia. He scored all of Wales' points in the 8-3 loss.

Watkins played Centre, i.e. number 3, and scored 2-conversions in Salford's 7-12 defeat by Leeds in the 1972-73 Player's No.6 Trophy final during the 1972–73 season at Fartown Ground, Huddersfield on Saturday 24 March 1973.

Watkins retired having set Salford's "Most Career Points" record with 2,907 points,[5] and is one of fewer than ten Welshmen to have scored more than 2,000 points in their rugby league career.[6] Watkins' rugby league career ended in 1979 after playing for Swinton for a season. He'd also played six international rugby league matches against New Zealand, Australia and France, and both captained and coached Great Britain and Wales.

Coaching career

After he'd stopped playing Watkins coached rugby league. He was the Wales national team coach and also coached Great Britain, taking them to the final of the 1977 World Cup, which they lost by one point to the hosts, Australia.

Watkins coached in Wales for the Cardiff City club.


Watkins was appointed Newport RFC team manager in 1992–93 and later became the club's chairman when he was awarded an MBE. In 2006 Watkins, along with Falklands War hero Simon Weston, was installed as a patron of the Welsh Rugby League at a ceremony held in the Welsh Assembly. He was managing director of the Cardiff City Blue Dragons. In 2009, Watkins took over the position of Crusaders president from Jonathan Davies.[7]


  1. ^ David Watkins rugby union profile
  2. ^ "Gareth Thomas completes switch from union to Wales rugby league side Crusaders". (London, UK: Telegraph Media Group Limited). 5 March 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  3. ^ Fields of Praise, The Official History of the Welsh Rugby Union 1881–1981, David Smith, Gareth Williams (1980) pg472 ISBN 0-7083-0766-3
  4. ^ "1973-1974 Lancashire Cup Final". 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  5. ^ "Salfordat". 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  6. ^ Robert Gate (1988). "Gone North – Volume 2". R. E. Gate. ISBN 0-9511190-3-6
  7. ^ "Jonathan Davies". BBC News. 10 January 2011. 

External links

  • David Watkins at
  • David Watkins at
  • Smethurst stars for Wigan
  • Salford legend makes his debut
  • Wasteful Wales Get A Roasting
  • Great Britain Statistics at
  • Statistics at
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