George Davies

George Davies

Position: Centre

Born 25/12/1875
Died 23/07/1959

Born on Christmas day 1875, George Davies was a stonemason by trade. He came into the Swansea 1st XV in the 1896-97 season as a centre where he prospered as part of an established three-quarter line including Billy Trew and Frank Gordon until the retirement of Billy Bancroft (1903) meant his occasional duties as full back became a permanent position for him.

Davies' career had begun in his hometown of Llandeilo where he was something of a local hero. He captained Llandeilo RFC for two seasons, 1894-95 and 1896-97. This was a particularly successful period for the Carmarthenshire club who were unbeaten from 1895 to 1898. George Davies was the first Welsh cap to hail from the Llandeilo club, though his caps came as a Swansea player. Llandeilo lore has it that he was credited with inventing the "dummy" manoeuvre on the rugby pitch. This laurel has been paced on many Welsh players' heads including Pontardawe Jack Davies. However, George Davies seems to have been a very effective early exponent of the art at least. 1895 was the year he is said to have first practiced the move as Llandeilo captain in a game against Pembroke Champions Tenby United, in which match he scored six tries and three drop goals in a 50 point win, acknowledged by the Tenby men who carried him on their shoulders from the field at the final whistle. Davies started playing for Swansea in 1896-97 and appears in that season's 1st XV photo. By the end of the season he moved to the club, a move which was marked later with that club playing a match at Llandeilo with a full strength side bar Billy Bancroft who refereed. A close game was won after Fred Scrines regained the lead for the Welsh Champions, which they then held to the end.

A strong runner and tackler, though not a natural at full-back, he worked hard at his kicking game. His growing reputation meant he was hunted by the Northern English professional clubs and he went as far as travelling to Manchester to discuss terms with Oldham, along with his Swansea team mate Dan Rees. Happily for Swansea, neither of them was induced to participate in a trial match which would have branded them as professional players. With his stock as a player rising at St Helens, he was selected to play against England in 1900 at centre aged 25 yrs and he held the position for the remaining two internationals against Scotland and Ireland that year, scoring the try that won the match (the only points scored in the match) against Ireland at Balmoral, Belfast. Selected again at centre in 1901, he played in all three internationals. With the growing partnership of Cardiff's Gwyn Nicholls and Rhys Gabe, Davies found himself dropped as Bert Winfield took the full-back duties over from Bancroft. But he was reselected following solid performances for Swansea in their "Invincible" season of 1904-05 at full-back. It was in this position that he won his last three caps for Wales in the 1905 Triple Crown winning side. He kicked two conversions against England in the 25 - 0 thrashing at Cardiff, and another two in the Triple Crown match at his home ground of St Helens. For Swansea, he also played in the side that so nearly defeated the first All Blacks at St Helens in December 1905 before retiring at the end of 1905-06. George Davies died in 1942.

Davies was one of seven footballing brothers. In early years he and his brothers were known to challenge any other seven brothers in Wales to a 7-a-side match. The Williams' of Pembroke took up the challenge but were soundly beaten.

Playing Summary
  Season P W D L Try Con Pen DG PTS  
  Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0  

Click on a season for a match by match breakdown.

  Team P W D L Try Con Pen DG PTS  
  Wales 9 8 0 1 1 4 0 0 11  
Clubs: - Llandeilo - Swansea -
Honours: - Wales -

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