History - Roland Griffiths's 'Teams of the Decades'

Roland Griffiths's 'Teams of the Decades'

This very interesting look through the Llandovery teams since World War 2 has been contributed by Roland Griffiths, and was written in December 2008. We will also use this section to add comments and names suggested by any Club member, past or present. Just send us your ideas via email to Bryan Weaver, and they’ll appear here.

Reminiscences

Having been connected with the Club for nearly 50 years, my mind went back (as one does when one gets older) to former seasons and former players; and I started to think about "teams of the decade" - not an easy thing to do, as the memory can play funny tricks! Nevertheless here goes: if this creates any interest, or brings back memories, or even initiates some discussion, I shall be more than pleased, but I don't expect anyone to agree with my lists (even Warren Gatland doesn't please everybody!)

Team of the 50s (i.e. 1948 to 1959)

As my first contact with Llandovery was in 1959, I sought the assistance of fellow life-member Neville Morgan; the Club owes Neville a big debt of gratitude, as he is responsible for the wonderful display of jerseys, ties and photographs in the Club. He was a former player back in the 50s.

15

Neville Morgan

14

John Williams

13

Les Adams

12

Ken Evans

11

Iwan Davies

10

Douglas Rees (Captain)

9

Gary Evans

 

 

1

Alan Williams

2

Dennis Evans

3

Des Clarke

4

Les Roderick

5

Chris Hughes

6

Jeff Morgan

7

Davie George Davies

8

George Adams


Team of the 60s

For this I solicited the help of another life-member, T. Gareth Jones, or "Twm Mount" as he is affectionately known. Gareth has been a tremendous servant of the Club: as a player for some 25 years (!), committeeman for much, much longer than that; Club Captain on five separate occasions, long-serving Fixture Secretary and, in turn, Treasurer, Secretary and former Chairman of the Club. However, for any possible blatant omissions, the blame is entirely mine!

15

Roy Jones

14

Idris Morton

13

Geraint Jones

12

David Walters

11

Alun Williams

10

Michael Smith

9

Bernard Jones

 

 

1

John Jones

2

T. G. Jones (Captain)

3

John Davies

4

Alun Morgan (Mull)

5

Meirion Davies

6

Ken Richards

7

Howard Ingram

8

Brian Butler


Team of the 70s

15

Tony Williams

14

Huw Lewis

13

Colin Basey

12

Adrian Lloyd

11

Jeff Augustus

10

Clifford Basey

9

John R. Davies

 

 

1

Rusty Jones

2

Malcolm Page

3

Gareth Williams (Charlie)

4

Colin Evans

5

Noel Page

6

Stuart Fry

7

Alan Walters (Captain)

8

Donald Llewelyn

Footnote:

As I have said previously, it's not an easy task I've set myself - there are only 15 places and lots and lots of names have to be left out. I hope I'm forgiven for any glaring omissions - please come up with your own versions of “team of the decade". One of the criteria that has been used is not to include anyone in 2 separate decades - although there are a number of people whose playing career has spread over two (and even three!) decades. (I know of three from the same family!!!)

Team of the 80s

Again there are many either/ors to most of the positions; but by now teams were able to nominate up to six replacements, of whom a maximum of two could be used to replace injured players only (!). So here goes:-

15

Alan Morgan

14

Carwyn Davies (Devanah)

13

Alun Thomas

12

Geraint Williams (Captain)

11

Eirian Jones (Bachi)

10

Carwyn Williams (Caws)

9

Handel Davies

 

 

1

Arwel Evans

2

Wyn Morgan (Chippo)

3

Dai Thomas

4

Noel Page (Beech)

5

Wyn Williams

6

Elfyn Jenkins

7

David Wigley

8

Nigel Clarke


Replacements: Colin Henry, Eifion (Tank) Evans, Huw Evans, Howard Ingram, Randall Jones, Dewi Evans

Footnote:

It may be of interest to note at this stage the team that represented Llandovery on that momentous day (8th December 1984) when we caused a big upset and knocked (the then) mighty Pontypridd out of the Welsh Cup, beating them convincingly by 21 points to 6 to go into the next round against Llanelli(!).

Team: Alan Morgan, Eirian Jones, Geraint Williams (capt), Alun Thomas, Carwyn Davies, Carwyn Williams, Randall Jones; Gareth Williams (Charlie), Wyn Morgan, Dai Thomas, Noel Page, Wyn Williams, Elfyn Jenkins, Eddie Morris, Dai Wigley. Replacements: Nigel Clarke, Chris Davies, Colin Henry, Handel Davies, Dewi Evans, Eifion (Tank) Williams

Team of the 90s

15

Emyr Lewis

14

Jeremy Griffiths

13

Huw Thomas

12

Tracy Lewis

11

Arwel Rowlands

10

Dai Lloyd Jones

9

Adrian Davies

 

 

1

Paul Jones

2

Hywel James

3

Simon Emms

4

John Westgarth

5

Ian Jones

6

Dai Giles

7

Mark Lewis

8

Chris Davies (Captain)


Replacements: Gerald Lewis, Phil Davies, Stuart Doel, Herman Bosman, Jamie Roberts, Martin Rees

Team for the Half Century

Nearly everyone who plays this game of selection says it is impossible to compare players of different generations - and then they proceed to do exactly that. So now comes the impossible task of finding a "team" (selected from those previous "Teams of the Decade") for (a purely subjective):

15

Adrian Lloyd

14

Jeremy Griffiths

13

Huw Thomas

12

Geraint Jones

11

Carwyn Davies

10

Carwyn Williams

9

Bernard Jones

 

 

1

Alan Williams

2

T. G. Jones (Captain)

3

Gareth Williams (Charlie)

4

John Westgarth

5

Noel Page (Beech)

6

Elfyn Jenkins

7

Alan Walters

8

Chris Davies


Replacements: Wyn Morgan (Chippo), Simon Emms, Wyn Williams, Dai Wigley, Handel Davies, Geraint Williams.

On to Stardom

Llandovery has played its full part over the years in developing players for future honours. Here is a "Team" of players who have honed their skills with Llandovery R.F.C. before moving on to higher levels:

15

Emyr Lewis

Wales Sevens

14

Mark Jones **

Scarlets & Wales

13

Tal Selley

Dragons & Wales Sevens

12

Rhodri Gomer Davies

Northampton & Dragons

11

Carwyn Davies

Llanelli & Wales

10

Aled Williams

Bridgend, Swansea & Wales

9

Gareth Davies

British Army & Combined Services

 

 

 

1

Dorian Williams

London Welsh & Barbarians

2

Barry Williams

Neath, Wales & British Lions captain

3

Simon Emms

Llanelli, London Welsh & Northampton

4

Luke Charteris **

Dragons & Wales

5

Lyndon Bateman

Ospreys

6

Dafydd Jones **

Scarlets & Wales

7

Jamie Cudmore **

Clermont-Auvergne & Canada

8

Andrew Powell **

Blues & Wales

Note:** denotes current Internationals — FIVE of them !!!!

Team of the 00s

(Contributed by Roland Griffiths in February 2010)

Now that we have come to the end of 2009, I thought it was time for one more go at the ‘Team of the Decade’ (which has now been dubbed ‘The Noughties’).

This has been the most difficult one of all, partly because of the fact that players come and go (and come back again!). What has been attempted therefore is a mixture of (a) players who have given exceptional service over a short period of time, and (b) players who have given outstanding, long and loyal service to the Club

Once again one could take issue with some of the selections, but in the writer’s mind each of these players has made a particularly notable contribution, either long-term or otherwise. So, here goes:  

15

Howard Thomas

14

Ifan Evans

13

Rhys Williams

12

Rhodri Gomer Davies

11

Mark Jones

10

Cerith Rees

9

Rob Walters

 

 

1

Andrew B Jones (capt)

2

Emyr Phillips

3

Dorian Williams

4

Lyndon Bateman

5

Haydn Pugh

6

Ceri Davies

7

Gareth Thomas

8

Andrew Powell

Replacements: Peter Edwards, Andrew R Jones, Wayne Beynon, Marc de Marigny, Gareth Morgan, Ioan Davies, Gary Williams, Stuart Harries

Looking back at the list it is interesting to note, firstly, that ten of them are still playing for Llandovery RFC; and secondly, to note a front row of local-born Llandovery boys (not contrived, I assure you); also local born-and-bred Gary Williams, Ioan Davies and Cerith Rees in the backs. Also, for those of you with short memories, Stuart Harries in season 2001-2 scored a massive 415 points, which was a National League record; and in mid-decade Gareth Morgan returned to us from Worcester part-way through the season and was instrumental in helping to avert the dreaded drop to a lower division, which had appeared to be very much on the cards at the time. In season 2004-5 Gareth scored 227 points.

Thankfully, more outstanding players are appearing today in the Drovers’ jersey and the outlook at the moment is particularly bright.

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