LAST week, we celebrated the Six Nations by looking at a few of Pembrokeshire’s Welsh international rugby players from across the last 142 years.

This week, we take a look at five more.

Willie Thomas

William Henry Thomas was born on March 22, 1866, in Fishguard. He went to school at Llandovery College before moving on to Corpus Christi College in Cambridge in 1885 where he was part of the victorious rugby team to beat Oxford in 1886 and 1887.

Before he left Llandovery College, he was selected to play for Wales in the 1885 Home Nations Championship. He made his debut in the final game and would go on to receive 11 caps for his country – against England and Scotland in 1886 and again in 1887, against Scotland in 1888 and England in 1890.

In 1888, he was selected to tour New Zealand and Australia as part of the first British Isles team. They were not awarded any caps and did not play international opposition.

His final two games for Wales came in the 1891 Championship where he was given the accolade of captain, ending his international career captaining Wales to a win over Ireland at Stradey Park.

Rowland Phillips

Western Telegraph:

Rowland David Phillips was born in St Davids on July 28, 1965. He played rugby union for Neath RFC as a back rower and would go on to represent Wales 10 times between 1987 and 1990.

He made his Welsh debut against the USA on November 7, 1987, and his last test was against Ireland on February 4, 1989. He played in four friendlies and six Five Nations Championship games. He started all 10 of his caps and between the above tests, he faced off against New Zealand twice, Ireland twice, Scotland twice, France and Samoa.

After a stint in rugby union, he went on to switch codes, playing rugby league as a second row for Warrington Wolves, Oldham RLFC and Workington Town. He made his rugby league debut for Warrington in October 1990 and stayed with the club for four years.

He played in Warrington’s win over Bradford Northern in the 1990-91 season and represented both Wales RL and Great Britain.

After ending his playing career, he coached Neath RFC, winning four successive Premiership titles and three cup wins. He also coached Aironi, Viadana, Ospreys and Wales. He was also director of rugby for Neath and manager of London Welsh – who he won the British and Irish Cup with. He has coached Wales U18s and was Wales Women’s head coach.

In 2022, he took over the reigns at Merthyr RFC.

John Dyke

John Charles Meredith Dyke was born in Narberth on June 20, 1884. He played full back for a number of clubs.

He made his first and only appearance for Wales against South Africa in 1906 in a heavy defeat for Wales but he is credited with helping keep the score down due to his heavy tackling and was chosen to tour New Zealand and Australia in the 1908 British Lions squad which he played 13 games in but none of the tests. He also played for the Barbarians.

James Davies

Western Telegraph: Picture: David Davies/PA WirePicture: David Davies/PA Wire (Image: David Davies/PA Wire)

James Davies was born on October 25, 1990, in Bancyfelin. He is the brother of fellow Wales international Jonathan Davies who we looked at last week.

As a flanker, he played for Carmarthen Quins before going on to make his debut for the Scarlets in 2014. He made more than 100 appearances for the region, scoring several tries and winning a number of man of the match awards.

He represented Wales Sevens on the HSBC Sevens circuit for a number of years and was part of the Great Britain squad that won a silver medal in the first Rugby Sevens tournament at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

He was called up to the Wales senior squad in 2018, making his debut against Italy in the Six Nations that same year. He made 11 appearances for Wales, scoring a try against Argentina, before making his final Wales appearance against Georgia in October 2020.

Last April, James announced that he was retiring from rugby with immediate effect, after almost two years out of the game battling concussion.

He is now the recruitment and operations officer at the Scarlets.

Kevin Phillips

Kevin Phillips was born in Hebron, Whitland on June 15, 1961. He played as a hooker for Neath RFC.

He received 20 caps for Wales, with his first coming against France in February, 1987.

Out of his 20 matches, he played seven friendlies, 10 Five Nations Championship games and three World Cup matches in the 1987 tournament.

In 1990, he captained Wales for two wins.

Throughout his international career, he faced France three times, Ireland three times, England three times, Scotland twice, New Zealand three times, Australia once, Barbarians once, Namibia twice, United States once and Tonga once.



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