Ray Cale

Ray Cale
Full name William Raymond Cale
Date of birth (1922-07-18)18 July 1922
Place of birth Usk, Wales
Date of death 23 May 2006(2006-05-23) (aged 83)
Rugby league career
Position Forward
Professional clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1950-54 St. Helens
National teams
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1951 Wales 4 (0)
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Flanker
Amateur clubs
Years Club / team
Ebbw Vale RFC
Newbridge RFC
Pontypool RFC
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1949-50 Wales 7 (3)

William Raymond "Ray" Cale (18 July 1922 in Usk, Wales[1] – 23 May 2006)[2] was a dual code rugby international for Wales with the international rugby union and rugby league teams, he died in May 2006.

Rugby union

Ray Cale, a native of Usk in Monmouthshire made his name as a rampaging, tough tackling flanker. He learnt rugby union at Ebbw Vale and Newbridge. In 1947, he played for a combined Pontypool, Blaenavon and Talywain side against the Australian national rugby union team.

Cale made his Welsh debut against England at Cardiff Arms Park in 1949 as a backrower. He played three Five Nations matches in the 1949 season. Wales came last in the championship.

In 1950, he switched to Pontypool RFC. Cale played in all four Five Nations matches the following season when Wales won a grand slam defeating England, Scotland, Ireland and France. He was known for his strong tackling and robust play. He scored a try against England at Twickenham and forced an error that led to Malcolm Thomas scoring a match winning try against Ireland.

He was a controversial omission from the British and Irish Lions team that toured Australia and New Zealand later that season.[3] He was deemed to be "too rough" a player for the tour.

Rugby league

He joined St. Helens the following season. His strong defensive game and robust running style allowed him to adapt easily to rugby league. In 1951, he played against the touring New Zealand national rugby league team for St Helens. He was a losing finalist in the 1952 Lancashire Cup match against Leigh but was an integral member of championship winning side in the 1952/53 season. In 1953, he played for St Helens in the Rugby League Challenge Cup losing to the Huddersfield Giants 15-10 at Wembley Stadium

He played 128 games for St. Helens. He also became a double international by adding four Welsh league caps to the seven he won at union, figuring twice against Other Nationalities, France and England His career in rugby league ended in 1953-54.

Challenge Cup final appearances

Ray Cale played Loose forward/Lock in St. Helens' 10-15 defeat by Huddersfield in the 1953 Challenge Cup final during the 1952-53 season at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday 25 April 1953.[4]

County Cup final appearances

Ray Cale played Loose forward/Lock in St. Helens' 5-22 defeat by Leigh in the 1952 Lancashire Cup final during the 1952–53 season at Station Road, Swinton on Saturday 29 November 1952.


  1. "Birth details at freebmd.org.uk". freebmd.org.uk. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  2. Ray Cale player profile Scrum.com
  3. "Wales Grand Slam hero Cale dies". BBC news (bbc.co.uk). 7 June 2006. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  4. McCorquodale, London S.E (25 April 1953). The Rugby League Challenge Cup Competition - Final Tie - Huddersfield v St. Helens - Match Programme. Wembley Stadium Ltd. ISBN n/a
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