Club Captain : George Morris
Club Honours : South Wales Challenge Cup Finalists (3rd occasion)
Capped v England : Dai Gwynn (d), Frank Purdon, George Morris
Capped v Scotland : Frank Purdon, George Morris
(d) = International debut, (c) = captain of international side.
Swansea were again South Wales Challenge Cup Finalists and in 1883 lost out to Newport at St Helens by 1 try and 4 minors to 1 try and 2 minors. They were captained by forward, Sir George Lockwood Morris (later 8th Baronet) in his second consecutive season at the helm. Morris had the honour in the previous season of being the first Swansea representative in the Welsh National side and gained his first cap in 1882 against Ireland in Dublin. He was to play five times for Wales (lastly in 1884 v Scotland). This season saw the first ever Welsh Rugby International to be played on Welsh soil andit was hosted at St Helens Ground on December 16th 1882. This reflected the standing of the Swansea Club at the founding of the Welsh Rugby Football Union. Unfortunately the match was lost to a strong England side, their Australian player Gregory Wade scoring a hat trick of tries as the visitors scored 2 goals and 4 tries to nil. Swansea was represented in this game by Dai Gwynn and Frank Purdon and Morris (gaining his second cap). His fellow swansea Internationals went on to gain 6 and 4 caps respectively and these became the first of many to carry that honour for The Whites. Purdon had played in the first Welsh international in 1880 but as a Newport player.
Wales team v Scotland 1883
The Wales team that played Scotland at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh on 8th January 1883. Scotland won by 3 tries, 2 cons to 1 try & 1 con. Half back J Bridie appears in the photo but did not play due to late objection from the Scottish Union to his selection. George Harding moved from forward to half back and Dr. John Griffin was draughted into the pack. He was born in Southampton, played for Edinbugh Universities thrord team and had no Welsh connections.
Back Row (L to R): G Rowland Hill (RFU), H S Lyne (Newport), Dr. J Griffin (Edinburgh Univ.), F T Purdon (Swansea), T J S Clapp (Newport), G F Harding (Newport), T B Jones (Newport),
2nd Row (L to R): R Mullock (WFU – Umpire), R Gould (Newport) , G L Morris (Swansea), C P Lewis (Llandovery) [captain], C H Newman (Newport),
Front Row (L to R): T H Judson (Llandovery College), R H Bridie (Newport DID NOT PLAY), W F Evans (Cardiff)
Absent: J A Jones (Cardiff), W B Norton (Cardiff), A Cattell (Llanelli).
(Courtesy WRU Archives).
David (Dai) Gwynn played as a back on 6 occasions for Wales between 1882 and 1891.
He made his debut for Swansea in 1878 and continued playing for the club until 1890. He then went to play for Oldham and captained them in 1890/91. He also played centre for the Lancashire team that won the county championship in 1890/91.
He was later associated with Swansea cricket club for many years, particularly as club umpire. He was the younger brother of WH Gwynn.
Frank Purdon joined George Morris as Swansea players in the Wales team for the 3rd international (versus England 16 December 1882). He had actually played for Wales in their first 2 internationals but as a Newport player before transferring to Swansea in 1882.
He had played mainly as a half-back for Newport but played as a forward for Wales in his 4 international appearances from 1881 to 1883.