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Newport RFC

Newport RFC
Full name Newport Rugby Football Club
Union Welsh Rugby Union
Nickname(s) Black & Ambers
Founded 1874 (1874)[1]
Location Newport, South Wales
Ground(s) Rodney Parade, Newport (Capacity: 8,500)
Chairman Will Godfrey
Coach(es) Sven Cronk
Captain(s) Gethin Robinson
Most caps David Waters, 702
Top scorer Daniel Griffiths, 1,551
Most tries Arthur Gould, 159
League(s) Welsh Premier Division
2011–12 11th[2]
Official website

Newport Rugby Football Club is a Welsh rugby union club based in the city of Newport, South Wales. They presently play in the Welsh Premier Division. Newport RFC are based at Rodney Parade situated on the east bank of the River Usk. Due to the regionalisation of Welsh rugby in 2003 Newport RFC is now a feeder club to Newport Gwent Dragons regional team.

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.[3]

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.


  • History 1
    • 1874–1914 1.1
    • 1919–1939 1.2
    • 1945–2003 1.3
  • Club honours 2
  • British and Irish Lions 3
  • Wales International Captains 4
  • Other notable former players 5
  • Current squad 6
  • Games played against international opposition 7
  • See also 8
  • External links 9
  • Bibliography 10
  • References 11



Newport RFC were formed in 1874 under the financial backing of the Phillips brewing family, and the playing talents of former pupils of Cardiff RFC, and in 1875 played Cardiff in both clubs' first-ever game.[4]

Newport’s early success was remarkable, winning every single match in their first four seasons between 1875 and 1879.[6] They were also successful in other tournaments winning the first two South Wales Cup competitions.[7] 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,[8] and provided six players in the first Welsh international match, more than any other club.[9]

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.[10]

In October 1879 Newport played Cardiff RFC in a floodlit game at Rodney Parade; the first ground to have floodlights installed in Wales.[10]

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.[11]

In 1912 Newport hosted the touring South Africa national team, and beat them 9 points to 3.[12]



  • Golden era of Jones, Burnett, Thomas, Meredith, Price, Watkins, Jarrett etc.
  • Beat Australia 1957, NZ 1963, SA 1969, Tonga 1974.
  • Welsh Club Champions 1951, 1956, 1962, 1969.
  • Won Welsh Merit Table and Anglo-Welsh Merit Table.
  • Provided 7 Welsh, 1 Czech Rep, 2 Canadian, 1 Fijian captains.
  • Provided 15 British Lions.
  • Introduced 7’s to Wales and won Snellings 10 times and R/U 9 times.
  • One of pioneers of floodlights in Wales.
  • Introduced squad systems / players playing on rota in Wales.
  • Won Welsh Cup twice, R/U 3 times.
  • Welsh Premier League winners and R/U – twice.

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.[13] The club was granted Freedom of the City of Newport on the 50th anniversary of this victory.[14]

Club honours

  • South Wales Cup 1878, 1879, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1890.[15]
  • Unofficial Welsh Club Champions; 1894–95; 1895–96; 1902–03; 1909–10; 1911–12; 1919–20; 1922–23; 1950–51; 1955–56; 1961–62; 1968–69;
  • Snelling Sevens 1954, 1956, 1957, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1967, 1985.
  • Welsh Cup 1977, 2001.
  • Welsh Division One Winners 1990–91[16]
  • Welsh Premier League Winners 2003–04.

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.

See also Wales rugby union captains


Other notable former players

See also Category:Newport RFC players

Current squad

Newport RFC Squad 2012/13[17]

Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under WR eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-WR nationality.
Player Position Union
Andrew Brown Hooker Wales
Ryan Prosser Hooker Wales
Dale Rogers Hooker Wales
Aaron Coundley Prop Wales
Alex Jeffries Prop Wales
Jamie Jeune Prop Wales
Dai Pattison Prop Wales
Gethin Robinson Prop Wales
Adam Frampton Lock Wales
Rhodri Jones Lock Wales
Lance Randall Lock England
Dafydd Rosser Lock Wales
John Sullivan Lock Wales
Craig Atwell Flanker Wales
Ollie Griffiths Flanker Wales
Rhys Jenkins Flanker Wales
Brendan Lampitt Flanker Wales
Hywel Stoddart Flanker Wales
Carl Townsend Flanker Wales
Sam Waldron Flanker England
Ross Coombs Number 8 Wales
Craig Everett Number 8 Wales
Player Position Union
Luke Crane Scrum-half Wales
Rhys Downes Scrum-half Wales
James Leadbeater Scrum-half Wales
Andrew Quick Scrum-half Wales
Tom Hancock Fly-half Wales
Scott Sneddon Fly-half Wales
Adam Davies Centre Wales
Dominic Franchi Centre Wales
Will Richards Centre South Africa
Dan Robinson Centre Wales
Owen Broad Wing Wales
Elliott Frewen Wing Wales
Ashton Hewitt Wing Wales
Alan Awcock Fullback England
Geraint O'Driscoll Fullback Wales

Games played against international opposition

Year Date Opponent Result Score Tour
1888 26 December  Māori Loss 0–3 1888 New Zealand Māori tour
1905 23 December  New Zealand Loss 3–6 1905 Original All Blacks tour
1906 27 October South Africa Loss 0–8 1906 South Africa rugby union tour
1908 19 December  Australia Loss 3–5 1908–09 Australia rugby union tour of Britain
1912 24 October  South Africa Win 9–3 1912–13 South Africa rugby union tour
1924 2 October  New Zealand Loss 10–13 1924–25 New Zealand tour of Britain, Ireland, France and Canada
1927 22 September New South Wales Waratahs Loss 3–20 1927–28 Waratahs tour of the British Isles, France and Canada
1931 8 October  South Africa Loss 3–15 1931–32 South Africa rugby union tour
1935 31 October  New Zealand Loss 5–17 1935–36 New Zealand rugby union tour of Britain, Ireland and Canada
1947 23 October  Australia Loss 4–8 1947–48 Australia rugby union tour
1952 12 January  South Africa Loss 6–12 1951–52 South Africa rugby union tour
1954 21 January  New Zealand Loss 6–11 1953–54 All Blacks tour of the British Isles, France and North America
1957 23 November  Australia Win 11–0
1963 30 October  New Zealand Win 3–0 1963–64 New Zealand rugby union tour of Britain, Ireland, France and North America
1966 23 November  Australia Draw 3–3 1966 Australia Tour of Britain and France
1969 12 November  South Africa Won 11–6 1969 South Africa Tour of UK
1973 10 January  New Zealand Loss 15–20 1972–73 New Zealand rugby union tour of the British Isles
1974 9 October  Tonga Win 14–6 1974 Tonga Tour of the British Isles
1976 7 January  Australia Loss 7–13 1975–76 Australia rugby union tour of Britain and Ireland
1980 28 October  New Zealand Loss 3–14 1980 All Blacks tour
1985 30 October  Fiji Loss 6–7 1985 Fiji tour of the British Isles
1989 31 October  New Zealand Loss 9–54 1989 New Zealand rugby union tour of the British Isles and Canada
2001 18 November  Uruguay Win 59–5

See also

External links

  • Official Website
  • Newport RFC Supporters Club
  • Newport Rugby Trust
  • History of Newport RFC


  • Smith, David; Williams, Gareth (1980). Fields of Praise: The Official History of The Welsh Rugby Union. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.  


  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. ^ Newport RFC – Sourced 28 October 2012
  3. ^ Parry-Jones, David (1989). The Rugby Clubs of Wales. p. 96.  
  4. ^ a b Smith (1980), pg 25.
  5. ^ Smith (1980), pg 23.
  6. ^ "Interesting Facts". Archived from the original on 21 August 2007. Retrieved 17 November 2007. 
  7. ^ Smith (1980), pg 34.
  8. ^ Smith (1980), pg 41.
  9. ^ Smith (1980), pg 40.
  10. ^ a b Smith (1980), pg 35.
  11. ^ Smith (1980), pg 71.
  12. ^ Smith (1980), pg 189.
  13. ^ Newport beat New Zealand.
  14. ^ "Newport rugby freedom presentation". Newport City Council. Retrieved 2013-10-31. 
  15. ^ Smith (1980), pg 485.
  16. ^
  17. ^ Newport RFC Squad
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