Tony Copsey - Wales - Welsh Caps & biography.

Photo/Foto: Nigel French

Date: 06 March 1993

Click on image to enlarge

      Monday, 25 January 1965
      Romford, Essex.
  • Wales
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Tony COPSEY - Wales - Welsh Caps & biography.

Career Record: Played 16, Won 9, Lost 7 Test Points: 0.

1992 v Ireland (Dublin) W 16-15 (FN)
1992 v France (Cardiff) L 12-9 (FN)
1992 v England (Twickenham) L 24-0 (FN)
1992 v Scotland (Cardiff) W 15-12 (FN)
1992 v Australia (Cardiff) L 23-6

1993 v England (Cardiff) W 10-9 (FN)
1993 v Scotland (Murrayfield) L 20-0 (FN)
1993 v Ireland (Cardiff) L 19-14 (FN)
1993 v Japan (Cardiff) W 55-5
1993 v Canada (Cardiff) W 26-24


1994 v England (R) (Twickenham) L 15-8 (FN)
1994 v Portugal (Lisbon) W 102-11 (WCQ)
1994 v Spain (R) (Madrid) W 54-0 (WCQ)
1994 v Fiji (Suva) W 23-8
1994 v Tonga (Nuku'Alofa) W 15-7
1994 v Western Samoa (R) (Moamoa) L 34-9

(R) = Replacement

The photograph of Tony Copsey playing for Wales was taken on 18th. January

1992 by George Herringshaw ©.


Essex Boy Anthony Copsey was one of the first players to become eligible to play for their adopted country through residency. The charismatic lock had been plying his trade for Llanelli for several seasons when the call came to face the Irish in January 1992. For Copsey this was a sensational debut. A Stuart Davies try clinched a deserved victory for the Welsh but the game was more memorable for the opening exchanges. A fired up Copsey was keen to signal his arrival on the international scene and indeed did so with a ferocious haymaker which flattened his opposing lock Neil Francis. Referee Fred Howard, a man not adverse to sending players off, astonishingly allowed the new lock to remain on the field; thanks mainly to the diplomacy of Welsh skipper Ieaun Evans. In the following game Copsey was brought down to earth with a bump, where the French lock Olivier Roumat gave him an exhibition in lineout play. France won 12-9.


The season would end on another low with a 24-0 defeat to England. Once more Copsey was overshadowed - this time veteran lock Wade Dooley, in his 50th game, plunged over for a try. Copsey's Llanelli would then defeat the World Champions Australia but Wales could not do the same, losing 23-6. Revenge would be gained in the 1993 game against England with a 10-9 win in Cardiff. Copsey was forming a formidable second row partnership with Gareth Llewellyn and their lineout possession was part of a game plan which allowed Robert Jones to kick England out of the game. As a modern lock, however, Copsey was often an unsafe pair of hands and would often shy away from the "donkey work" which is that position's role. Typically the England high was followed by two lows - defeats to Scotland and Ireland. In the following season Phil Davies was preferred at lock, providing more bulk than the lightweight Copsey.


However, Tony was there to help pick up the Five Nations Trophy in 1994. Wales lost 15-8 to England but still won the title - Copsey came on as a replacement. Although he played in a further five games his role was more peripheral as Phil Davies became first choice. He played in the World Cup qualifiers against Portugal and Spain, but his final game - a defeat at the hands of recent tormentors Western Samoa - was again as a replacement for Davies. (John Lovell)