Swansea RFC

Swansea RFC
Full name Swansea Rugby Football Club
Nickname(s) The Jacks
The Whites
Founded 1872 (1872)[1]
Location Swansea, Wales
Ground(s) St Helen's Rugby and Cricket Ground (Capacity: 4,500)
Captain(s) Sam Kiley
League(s) Principality Premiership
2016/17 2nd[2]
1st kit
2nd kit
Official website

Swansea Rugby Football Club is a Welsh rugby union team which plays in the Welsh Championship. Its home ground is St Helens Rugby and Cricket Ground in Swansea. The team is also known as The Whites because of the primary colour of the team strip. The club is a feeder club to the Ospreys.


The club was founded in 1872[3] and, in 1881 it became one of the eleven founder clubs of the Welsh Rugby Union.[4][5]

In the early twentieth century Swansea RFC was an extremely successful club. For four consecutive seasons Swansea were the unofficial Welsh champions from the 1898/99 season through to 1901/02, coinciding with the heyday of Swansea's first star player Billy Bancroft. Under the captaincy of Frank Gordon the team would later go on a 22-month unbeaten run, from December 1903 through to October 1905. During this period Swansea appeared to be under-represented at international level. Gordon himself went uncapped throughout his entire career, and apart from Billy Trew, Dick Jones and Dicky Owen, the only other internationals in the senior team were forward Sid Bevan (1 cap),[6] wing Jowett (1 cap)[7] and outside-half Phil Hopkins (4 caps).[8] Trew (29 caps) was an outstanding centre who was accepted as one of the most important players in the evolution of Welsh rugby,[9] while Dicky Owen (35 caps), although only 5 foot 4 inches tall, was an incredible tactician.[10]

The immediate post war years brought only limited success, although a notable 6-6 draw was achieved against New Zealand in 1953 followed by a 9-8 victory against Australia in 1966. It was not until the club’s centenary season in 1973/74, however, that the club became Merit Table Champions. Swansea achieved further success as club champions in 1979/80, 1980/81, 1982/83 as well as Welsh cup winners in 1978.

Players during this period included Clem Thomas, Billy Williams, Dewi Bebb, Mervyn Davies, Geoff Wheel, David Richards and Mark Wyatt, the club's record points scorer with 2,740 points scored between 1976/77 and 1991/92.

The 1990s saw success for the club, including being league champions on 4 occasions (1991/92, 1993/94, 1997/98 and 2000/01) and Welsh cup winners in 1995 and 1999. A memorable 21-6 victory was recorded over then World champions Australia at St Helens on 4 November 1992. In season 1995/96 Swansea reached the semi-final stage of the European Cup. This period also included disputes with the Welsh Rugby Union over the way the league structure was being run in Wales following rugby union's move to being a professional game, which culminated in the club's boycott of the 1998/99 league season, in what was referred to as the rebel season.[11]

The 2003/04 season has seen a significant change with the introduction of regional rugby in Wales. Swansea Rugby Football Club Ltd, alongside Neath RFC are co-owners of the Ospreys. As a result, Swansea RFC returned to being an amateur team. Since the change to regional rugby Several players have played for Swansea RFC, as well Ospreys and Wales including Alun Wyn Jones, Ryan Jones, Scott Baldwin, Nicky Smith, Matthew Morgan, Eli Walker, Gavin Henson and Dan Biggar.

In 2014 the All Whites were relegated from the Welsh Premier league on the final day of the season when despite beating Neath at St Helens, a bonus point for Aberavon sent Swansea into the SWALEC Championship. This provoked a complete revamp of the club with Stephen Hughes taking the position of Chairman, Keith Colclough as Managing Director and Richard Lancaster leading a coaching team of former players including Rhodri Jones, Chris Loader and Ben Lewis. In their first season Swansea missed out on promotion back to the Premiership, finishing in second place overall.


Swansea RFC defeated New Zealand 11-3 on Saturday 28 September 1935, becoming the first ever club side to beat the All Blacks.[12]

In November 1992, Swansea RFC defeated world champions Australia 21-6, when Australia played their first match of their Welsh Tour.

Welsh Premier Division champions in:

Welsh Cup champions in:

Whitbread Merit Table champions in:

Snelling Sevens champions in:

Current squad

Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under WR eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-WR nationality.

Player Position Union
Scott Baldwin Hooker Wales Wales
Paul John Hooker Wales Wales
Oliver Pardoe Hooker Wales Wales
Owen Phillips Hooker Wales Wales
Alun Rees Hooker Wales Wales
Andrew Clatworthy Prop Wales Wales
Tim Evans Prop Wales Wales
Roy Jones Prop Wales Wales
Lee May Prop Wales Wales
Marc O'Kelly Prop Wales Wales
Nicky Smith Prop Wales Wales
Will Taylor Prop Wales Wales
Nicky Thomas Prop Wales Wales
Paul Arnold Lock Wales Wales
James Goode Lock Wales Wales
Rhodri Hughes Lock Wales Wales
Jack Jones Lock Wales Wales
Richard Kelly Lock Wales Wales
Dan Baker Flanker Wales Wales
James Bija Flanker Wales Wales
David Blyth Flanker Wales Wales
Ben Fox Flanker Wales Wales
Steffan Jones Flanker Wales Wales
Sam Kiley Flanker Wales Wales
Ben Lewis Flanker Wales Wales
Sam Lewis Flanker Wales Wales
Tom Morgan Flanker Wales Wales
Rory Pitman Number 8 Wales Wales
Player Position Union
Tom Isaacs Scrum-half Wales Wales
Aled Lewis Scrum-half Wales Wales
Phil Tucker Scrum-half Wales Wales
Rhodri Wells Scrum-half Wales Wales
Sam Davies Fly-half Wales Wales
James Dixon Fly-half Wales Wales
James Garland Fly-half Wales Wales
Lloyd Thomas Fly-half Wales Wales
Hanno Dirksen Centre Wales Wales
Nick Harwood Centre Wales Wales
Chris Shelmerdine Centre Wales Wales
David Watts Centre Wales Wales
Leigh Bevan Wing Wales Wales
Luke Hathaway Wing Wales Wales
Rhys Jones Wing Wales Wales
Eli Walker Wing Wales Wales
Nicky Thomas Fullback Wales Wales

British and Irish Lions

The following former players were selected for the British and Irish Lions touring squads whilst playing for Swansea RFC.


Wales International Captains

The following former players captained the Wales national rugby union team whilst playing for Swansea RFC.

See also Wales rugby union captains


Other notable former players

The players listed below have played for Swansea and have also played international rugby.


Games played against international opposition

Year Date Opponent Result Score Tour
1888 24 December  Māori Loss 0-5 1888 New Zealand Māori tour
1905 30 December  New Zealand Loss 3-4 1905 Original All Blacks tour
1908 26 December  Australia Win 6-0 1908-09 Australia tour of the British Isles and France
1912 26 December  South Africa Win 3-0 1912-13 South Africa rugby union tour
1931 10 October  South Africa Loss 3-10 1931-32 South Africa rugby union tour
1935 28 September  New Zealand Win 11-3 1935 All Blacks tour
1951 15 December  South Africa Loss 3-11 1951 South African tour
1953 12 December  New Zealand Draw 6-6 1953/54 All Blacks tour of the British Isles, France and North America
1963 14 December  New Zealand Loss 9-16 1963/64 All Blacks tour of the British Isles, France and Canada
1966 26 November  Australia Win 9-8 1966-67 Australia tour of Britain, Ireland and France
1973 8 September  Fiji Loss 0-31 1973 Fiji tour of the British Isles and Canada[16]
1973 3 November  Australia Draw 9-9 1973 Australia rugby union tour of Europe[17]
1975 29 November  Australia Loss 6-12 1975-76 Australia tour of Britain and Ireland[18]
1980 25 October  New Zealand Loss 0-32 1980 All Blacks tour[19]
1981 28 November  Australia Loss 3-12 1981-82 Australia tour of Britain & Ireland[20]
1982 30 October New ZealandNew Zealand Māori Win 15-12 1982 New Zealand Māori rugby union tour of Wales
1984 30 October  Australia Loss 7-17 1984 Australia tour of Britain and Ireland
1985 16 October  Fiji Loss 14-23 1985 Fiji tour of the British Isles[21]
1989 21 October  New Zealand Loss 22-37 1989 New Zealand rugby union tour of the British Isles and Canada[22]
1992 4 November  Australia Win 21-6 1992 Australian Tour[23]



  1. The Welsh Academy Encyclopaedia of Wales, John Davies, Nigel Jenkins, Menna Baines and Peredur Lynch (2008) pp782 ISBN 978-0-7083-1953-6
  2. WRU Official Site - Sourced 22 May 2015
  3. David Farmer ("The All Whites - the Life & Times of Swansea RFC" (DFPS Ltd 1995)p1
  4. Swansea Rugby Football Club 1873-1945 Book - Images of Sport, Bleddyn Hopkins. Tempus Publishing
  5. Smith (1980), pg 41.
  6. 1 2 3 Smith (1980), pg 463.
  7. Smith (1980), pg 468.
  8. Smith (1980), pg 134.
  9. The Welsh Academy Encyclopaedia of Wales, John Davies, Nigel Jenkins, Menna Baines and Peredur Lynch (2008) pp782 ISBN 978-0-7083-1953-6
  10. Smith (1980), pg 132.
  11. Laybourn, Ian (1998-08-22). "Rebel clubs secede from WRU". The Independent. Independent Print Limited.
  12. All Blacks: 288th All Black Game
  13. Smith (1980), pg 472.
  14. Smith (1980), pg 464.
  15. Smith (1980), pg 473.
  16. Fiji Rugby.com
  17. Jenkins, Vivian (1974). Rothmans Rugby Yearbook 1974-75. Queen Anne Press. p. 36. ISBN 0-362-00173-1.
  18. Jenkins, Vivian (1976). Rothmans Rugby Yearbook 1976-77. Queen Anne Press. p. 22. ISBN 0-362-00281-9.
  19. Jenkins, Vivian (1982). Rothmans Rugby Yearbook 1981-82. Rothmans Publications Ltd. p. 42. ISBN 0-907574-05-X.
  20. Jenkins, Vivian (1983). Rothmans Rugby Yearbook 1982-83. Rothmans Publications Ltd. p. 24. ISBN 0-907574-13-0.
  21. Fiji Rugby.com
  22. All Blacks.com
  23. Swansea RFC - World champions beaten!
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