Gareth Edwards - Wales - International Rugby Union Caps for Wales.

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 22 March 1978

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      Saturday, 12 July 1947
      Pontardawe, Wales
  • Wales
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Gareth EDWARDS - Wales - International Rugby Union Caps for Wales.

Gareth Edwards is pictured above in action for a Rugby Writers

Association charity event.


Career Record: Played 53, Won 33, Drew 5, Lost 15.  Test Points: 88
Tries: 20, Penalties: 1, Conversions: 2, Drop Goals: 3.


(becoming the youngest ever Welsh captain).


1967 v France (Paris) L 20-14 (FN)
1967 v England (Cardiff) L 34-21 (FN)

1967 v New Zealand (Cardiff) L 13-6


1968 v England (Twickenham) D 11-11 (FN)
1968 v Scotland (Cardiff) W 5-0 (FN)  His first game as captain aged 20.
1968 v Ireland (Dublin) L 9-6 (FN)

1968 v France (Cardiff) L 14-9 (FN)


1969 v Scotland (Murrayfield) W 17-3 (FN)
1969 v Ireland (Cardiff) W 24-11 (FN)
1969 v France (Paris) D 8-8 (FN)
1969 v England (Cardiff) L 30-9 (FN)
1969 v New Zealand (Christchurch) L 19-0
1969 v New Zealand (Auckland) L 33-12
1969 v Australia (Sydney) W 19-16

1970 v South Africa (Cardiff) D 6-6
1970 v Scotland (Cardiff) W 18-9 (FN)
1970 v England (Twickenham) W 17-13 (FN)
1970 v Ireland (Dublin) L 14-0 (FN)

1970 v France (Cardiff) W 11-6 (FN)


1971 v England (Cardiff) W 22-6 (FN)
1971 v Scotland (Murrayfield) W 19-18 (FN)
1971 v Ireland (Cardiff) W 23-9 (FN)

1971 v France (Paris) W 9-5 (FN)


1972 v England (Twickenham) W 12-3 (FN)
1972 v Scotland (Cardiff) W 35-12 (FN)
1972 v France (Cardiff) W 20-6 (FN)

1972 v New Zealand (Cardiff) L 19-16


1973 v England (Cardiff) W 25-9 (FN)
1973 v Scotland (Murrayfield) L 10-9 (FN)
1973 v Ireland (Cardiff) W 16-12 (FN)
1973 v France (Paris) L 12-3 (FN)

1973 v Australia (Cardiff) W 24-0


1974 v Scotland (Cardiff) W 6-0 (FN)
1974 v Ireland (Dublin) D 9-9 (FN)
1974 v France (Cardiff) D 16-16 (FN)

1974 v England (Twickenham) L 16-12 (FN)

1975 v France (Paris) W 25-10 (FN)
1975 v England (Cardiff) W 20-4 (FN)
1975 v Scotland (Murrayfield) L 12-10 (FN)
1975 v Ireland (Cardiff) W 32-4 (FN)
1975 v Australia (Cardiff) W 28-3

1976 v Scotland (Cardiff) W 28-6 (FN)

1976 v Ireland (Dublin) W 34-9 (FN)

1976 v France (Cardiff) W 19-13


1977 v Ireland (Cardiff) W 25-9 (FN)
1977 v France (Paris) L 16-9 (FN)
1977 v England (Cardiff) W 14-9 (FN)

1977 v Scotland (Murrayfield) W 18-9 (FN)


1978 v England (Twickenham) W 9-6 (FN)
1978 v Scotland (Cardiff) W 22-14 (FN)
1978 v Ireland (Dublin) W 20-16 (FN)

1978 v France (Cardiff) W 16-7 (FN)


For many Gareth Edwards is quite simply the best rugby player of all time. The complete player,

his natural athleticism was matched by an intuitive rugby brain. His 53 caps were gained

consecutively over ten years - a world record - and in those games he would only taste defeat

fifteen times. He was never dropped - if he had been there would have been riots throughout Wales.

Raised in the mining valleys, Edwards was one of thousands of Welsh children who lived for sport,

playing out 'international' games in the street - and always scoring the winning try against England.

Unlike many boys, Edwards would live the dream and was first capped in 1967 against France, three

months short of his twentieth birthday. The Cardiff player had come into the spotlight after starring

in his club's tour to South Africa in 1967.


He would then become Wales' youngest ever international captain, when he led out the side against

Scotland in February 1968 - he was 20 years and seven months. In all, he was captain of his country

on 13 occasions. Naturally, this put an enormous burden on the young Edwards. Not only was he coming

to terms with the rigours of test rugby, he was also being asked to captain players with more experience

than him.  He had to withstand great criticism from the harshest of all rugby critics, the Welsh public.

Despite this he made the 1968 British Lions tour to South Africa and enjoyed a successful trip until injury

ended his tour. He undoubtedly matured as a player developing one area of his game that was seen as a

weakness. His pass was seen as slow, but copying the great All Black Chris Laidlaw, he perfected the spin

pass. With his kicking game improving, he was rapidly becoming an outstanding talent.


It is no surprise that Welsh domination of rugby in the seventies came at a time when Edwards

ruled supreme at scrum-half. Outside him was 'The King', Barry John, and the pair reigned for 23 tests.

Edward's service was accurate and swift, allowing John the time to weave his magic. He had also added

an intelligent kicking game, whilst devastating breaks from mauls and scrums ensured opposing back-rows

had their hands full. Edwards made his second Lions tour in 1971 and was an integral part of the team which

defeated the mighty All Blacks. In titanic battles New Zealand crowds could only marvel at Edward's vision,

power and pace; if his hamstrings had permitted it, he could have been an Olympic

sprinter! Edwards' presence and opportunism were key factors in the golden era of Welsh rugby.


He would win three Grand slams, five Triple Crowns, five outright Championships and two shared titles.

For many, he is the scorer of the greatest try ever. In the traditional end of tour game against the All Blacks

in 1973, the Barbarians were deep in their own 22. The ball passed between 6 sets of hands before Edwards

burst onto a pass and dived in at the corner. He was the ultimate finisher and scored a remarkable 20 tries -

and a couple of drop goals! This was due his strength but moreover his desire to win. It was this desire that

again saw him make a Lions tour, this time to South Africa in 1974. On the hard grounds, he was again an

integral part of the tour's enormous success - the Lions went undefeated. In 1977, the Lions toured

New Zealand and it is a measure of Edwards' reputation in rugby circles, that many believe if he

had toured, the series would have been won. (John Lovell)

In 1974 Edwards was named BBC Wales Sports Personality of the year. He followed up this

success by receiving an MBE in 1975.

In the 2007 New Year Honours, Edwards became a CBE for services to sport.

He was knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours of 2015, for services to sport and for charitable services.