Carwyn Rees James (2 November 1929 – 10 January 1983) was a Welsh rugby union player and coach. He won two Welsh international caps but is most famous for his coaching achievements with Llanelli, the 1971 British Lions and the Barbarians, with all of whom he beat the All Blacks.
|Birth name||Carwyn Rees James|
|Date of birth||2 November 1929|
|Place of birth||Cefneithin, Wales|
|Date of death||10 January 1983(aged 53)|
|Place of death||Amsterdam, Netherlands|
|School||Gwendraeth Grammar School|
|Rugby union career|
James was born in 1929, the son of a coalminer, in Cefneithin in the Gwendraeth Valley.
James played fly-half for Llanelli, playing his first game while still at Gwendraeth School. He was capped for Wales twice in 1958, the second time at centre, but would probably have gained more caps had he not been in competition with Cliff Morgan for the fly-half spot.
James gained distinction as a coach with Llanelli.
James then continued to coach Llanelli. He coached them to the famous victory over the All Blacks at Stradey Park, Llanelli, in 1972. He then coached them to four Welsh Cups between 1973 and 1976.
He then coached in Italy, at Rugby Rovigo, from 1977 to 1980, winning a title.
James never coached the Welsh national side, largely because of his belief that the coach should chair the selectors' meetings and be responsible for choosing the other selectors. At one stage he applied for the role but then withdrew his application.
James coaching style was said to involve quiet words with players and half-suggestions rather than orders. He was a strong believer in attacking rugby, with the attitude that if a team had possession of the ball it should be able to attack, regardless of the position on the field.
James was a nationalist and stood as Plaid Cymru candidate in Llanelli in the 1970 General Election. He was an opponent of apartheid and during the controversial 1969/70 Springbok tour he prepared the Llanelli team but stayed in the dressing room as a protest. He was a pacifist in his later years.
Rugby media workEdit
In his later years he became a noted broadcaster on the game in Wales.
Towards the end of his life James' personal health management was not good, including alcohol and cigarette consumption. In January 1983, 53-year-old James was on a private visit to the Netherlands and staying alone at the Hotel Krasnapolsky in Dam Square, Amsterdam. The Western Mail reported that his body was discovered in the bath of his hotel suite, having lain there for some days. Police said he had died of a heart attack and there were no suspicious circumstances.
Due to his coaching in Italy, an international tournament, called "Carwyn James Easter Trophy", is held in Pieve di Cento (Bologna). The 12th edition was in 2016. The trophy is for Under 15s sides and has been arranged even with the help of Carwyn's nephew, Llyr James.
- Carwyn James rugby profile Scrum.com
- McCarthy, James (2017-06-10). "Carwyn James was arguably rugby's greatest ever coach – and he was also a spy". WalesOnline. Retrieved 2021-06-26.
- Muncey, Craig (2017-01-10). "Carwyn James: The Greatest Coach Wales Never Had". therugbymagazine.com. Retrieved 2021-06-26.
- "Lonely prince of coaches". The Guardian. 22 March 2001. Retrieved 2021-06-26.
- Thomas, Geraint (2017-06-22). "Lions 1971 mastermind has been laid bare in new biography". WalesOnline. Retrieved 2021-06-26.
- Parfitt, Delme (2017-05-18). "Carwyn James' troubled persona, through his players' eyes". WalesOnline. Retrieved 2021-06-26.
- "Lessons from All Blacks Conqueror Carwyn James in New Revealing Biography". Archived from the original on 2019-01-08. Retrieved 2019-01-08.
- [dead link]
- Hewett, Chris (2004-12-03). "Why has rugby shortchanged the Barbarian legends of '73?". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2007-03-31. Retrieved 2007-05-10.
- "Brief Club History". Cefneithin RFC. Archived from the original on 2009-12-29. Retrieved 2010-01-02.
- Ferguson, David (2007-02-10). "Bennett stresses No 10s must play with freedom". The Scotsman. Archived from the original on 2016-01-10. Retrieved 2010-01-02.
- "Carwyn James". rugbyhalloffame.com. Archived from the original on 2007-06-15. Retrieved 2007-05-12.
- Outside Half BBC documentary about Carwyn James