Remembering Clive Rowlands

Swansea RFC are saddened to hear of the passing of Welsh rugby legend Clive Rowlands. His playing career with Pontypool, Llanelli and Wales and his great success as coach of the dynamic Welsh team of the early 1970s are well documented and his skills as a scrum-half and tactician are justly held in great esteem. He was a man who thought deeply about the game and how it should be played. Captaining Wales, he led them to a shared championship and a Triple Crown. He inspired a talented Welsh side to a Triple crown and Grand Slam during his tenancy as assistant manager and coach.

He came to play for Swansea toward the end of his playing career in 1966 and played in Swansea’s 9 – 8 win over Australia in November that year. Rowlands’ tactical nous was very much in evidence as he took command when skipper Mike Thomas was forced off temporarily with an injury. Referee O.P. Bevan of Merthyr asked the Swansea players if they were organised to continue as Mike limped off. “Yes we are organised Ossie,” snapped back Clive and he went on to give a master class in tactical kicking from behind the scrum. Clive Rowlands captained the ‘All Whites’ for his last playing season in 1967-68 where his pre-match team talks took on legendary proportions, such was the inspiration he engendered, tempered with sound tactical instruction. He was a well loved figure at St Helen’s and will be missed across Wales and beyond, but especially so at Swansea.