Newport RFC

Newport Rugby Football Club (Welsh: Clwb Rygbi Casnewydd) is a Welsh rugby union club based in the city of Newport, South Wales. They presently play in the Welsh Premier Division. Newport RFC are based at Rodney Parade situated on the east bank of the River Usk.

Newport RFC
Newport rfc logo.png
Full nameNewport Rugby Football Club
UnionWelsh Rugby Union
Nickname(s)Black & Ambers
Founded1874; 147 years ago (1874)[1]
LocationNewport, South Wales
Ground(s)Rodney Parade, Newport (Capacity: 8,700)
ChairmanWill Godfrey
Coach(es)Craig Warlow
Captain(s)Adam Brown
Most capsDavid Waters, 702
Top scorerDaniel Griffiths, 1,551
Most triesArthur Gould, 159
League(s)Welsh Premier Division
1st kit
2nd kit
Official website

Every major rugby union touring team to visit Wales has played at Rodney Parade, and all of them were beaten at least once in the twentieth century by a side who, in 1951, played in the match at Cardiff RFC that attracted what was, a world-record crowd of 48,500 for a rugby union match between two clubs.[3]

In addition to matches against all the major national sides a highlight of the Newport season was the annual match against the Barbarians, ensuring that the Newport fans enjoyed watching world-class players to supplement the Welsh internationals who were a common feature of the 'Black and Ambers'.

Newport supplied over 150 players to the Wales national team and international players to England, Scotland, Ireland, South Africa, Czech Republic, Canada and Fiji as well as over 80 Barbarians.

Following the regionalisation of Welsh rugby in 2003, Newport RFC are now a feeder club to the Dragons regional team.



The 1904–05 team

Newport RFC were formed in 1874 under the financial backing of the Phillips brewing family, and the playing talents of former pupils of Monmouth School,[4] a public school which had adopted rugby union in 1873.[5] Newport was originally intended as an association football club, but was unable to find any opponents, but they managed to organise a rugby match against Cardiff RFC, and in 1875 played Cardiff in both clubs' first-ever game.[4]

Newport’s early success was remarkable, winning every match in their first four seasons between 1875 and 1879.[6] They were also successful in other tournaments winning the first two South Wales Cup competitions.[7] The club’s strength was reflected at international level, providing more players to the Welsh national team than any other club in the nineteenth century, including four captains. In 1881 Newport was one of the eleven clubs present at the forming of the Welsh Rugby Football Union,[8] and provided six players in the first Welsh international match, more than any other club.[9]

Scrum between Newport and London Welsh, 31 December 1904

Partially due to their geographical location Newport also played against more established clubs from England and in 1878 a game was arranged against Manchester Athletic followed by games against Birmingham, Clifton, Gloucester and Swindon. Their dominance led Newport’s club secretary, Richard Mulloch to arrange a match against the English domestic champions Blackheath Rugby Club. With a record attendance of 5,000 spectators Newport were out-classed by their opponents, losing four goals and eight tries to nil. However, Newport had played two games in the previous five days and Blackheath brought in outside players to bolster their squad.[10]

In October 1879 Newport played Cardiff RFC in a floodlit game at Rodney Parade; the first ground to have floodlights installed in Wales.[10]

In 1887, Newport player Charlie Newman was given the captaincy of the Welsh national team, he was the first Newport player to achieve this honour. In 1887 Newport player Tom Clapp was given the Wales captaincy and in 1888 he led the first Welsh side to beat Scotland, a team that included Newport players Powell and Gould. During the 1891–92 season, under captain Tom Graham Newport went unbeaten, winning 29 games and drawing four. Graham brought a new professional attitude to the team, introducing weekly gym training and an avoidance of alcohol.[11]

In 1912 Newport hosted the touring South Africa national team, and beat them 9 points to 3.[12]



  • Golden era of Jones, Burnett, Thomas, Meredith, Price, Watkins, Jarrett etc.
  • Beat Australia 1957, NZ 1963, SA 1969, Tonga 1974.
  • Welsh Club Champions 1951, 1956, 1962, 1969.
  • Won Welsh Merit Table and Anglo-Welsh Merit Table.
  • Provided 7 Welsh, 1 Czech Rep, 2 Canadian, 1 Fijian captains.
  • Provided 15 British Lions.
  • Introduced 7s to Wales and won Snellings 10 times and R/U 9 times.
  • One of pioneers of floodlights in Wales.
  • Introduced squad systems / players playing on rota in Wales.
  • Won Welsh Cup twice, R/U 3 times.
  • Welsh Premier League winners and R/U – twice.

In 1963 Newport, captained by Brian Price, claimed perhaps their greatest victory by defeating New Zealand led by Wilson Whineray 3–0. This turned out to be the All Blacks only defeat on their 1963 tour.[13] The club was granted Freedom of the City of Newport on the 50th anniversary of this victory.[14]

Club honoursEdit

  • South Wales Cup 1878, 1879, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1890.[15]
  • Snelling Sevens 1954, 1956, 1957, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1967, 1985.
  • Welsh Cup 1977, 2001.
  • Welsh Division One Winners 1990–91[16]
  • Welsh Premier League Winners 2003–04.

British and Irish LionsEdit

The following former players were selected for the British and Irish Lions touring squads whilst playing for Newport RFC. Newport hold the record for the number of players from one club selected for a British Lions Tour with eight Newport players being selected for the 1910 British Lions tour to South Africa.


Wales International CaptainsEdit

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


Other notable former playersEdit


Current squadEdit

Newport RFC Squad 2015/16[17]

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
Will Evans Hooker   Wales
Matt Prosser Hooker   Wales
Alex Watkins Hooker   Wales
Evan Whitson Hooker   Wales
James Greenfield Prop   Wales
Alex Jeffries Prop   Wales
John Lavender Prop   Wales
Tom Piper Prop   Wales
Josh Powell Prop   Wales
Adam Brown Lock   Wales
Rhodri Jones Lock   Wales
Ed King Lock   Wales
Byrce Morgan Lock   Wales
Dan Partridge Lock   Wales
Craig Atwell Flanker   Wales
Sam Cross Flanker   Wales
Spencer Gibson Flanker   Wales
Jack Gooding Flanker   Wales
Ollie Griffiths Flanker   Wales
Nathan Hudd Flanker   Wales
Rhys Jenkins Flanker   Wales
Brendan Lampitt Flanker   Wales
Lloyd Phillips Flanker   Wales
Player Position Union
Aaron Bidgood Scrum-half   Wales
Owen Davies Scrum-half   Wales
Ryan James Scrum-half   Wales
Jonathan Lewis Scrum-half   Wales
Rhys Long Scrum-half   Wales
Julian Mogg Fly-half   Wales
Matt O'Brien Fly-half   Wales
Arwel Robson Fly-half   Wales
Aled James Centre   Wales
Andrew King Centre   Wales
Paul King Centre   Wales
Llewarch Ap Myrddin Centre   Wales
Barney Nightingale Centre   Wales
Haydn Palmer Centre   Wales
Wes Cunliffe Wing   Wales
Elliott Frewen Wing   Wales
Jonathan Morris Wing   Wales
Ed Howley Fullback   Wales
Geraint O'Driscoll Fullback   Wales

Games played against international oppositionEdit

Year Date Opponent Result Score Tour
1888 26 December   Māori Loss 0–3 1888 New Zealand Māori tour
1905 23 December   New Zealand Loss 3–6 1905 Original All Blacks tour
1906 27 October   South Africa Loss 0–8 1906 South Africa rugby union tour
1908 19 December   Australia Loss 3–5 1908–09 Australia rugby union tour of Britain
1912 24 October   South Africa Win 9–3 1912–13 South Africa rugby union tour
1924 2 October   New Zealand Loss 10–13 1924–25 New Zealand tour of Britain, Ireland, France and Canada
1927 22 September   New South Wales Waratahs Loss 3–20 1927–28 Waratahs tour of the British Isles, France and Canada
1931 8 October   South Africa Loss 3–15 1931–32 South Africa rugby union tour
1935 31 October   New Zealand Loss 5–17 1935–36 New Zealand rugby union tour of Britain, Ireland and Canada
1947 23 October   Australia Loss 4–8 1947–48 Australia rugby union tour
1952 12 January   South Africa Loss 6–12 1951–52 South Africa rugby union tour
1954 21 January   New Zealand Loss 6–11 1953–54 All Blacks tour of the British Isles, France and North America
1957 23 November   Australia Win 11–0
1963 30 October   New Zealand Win 3–0 1963–64 New Zealand rugby union tour of Britain, Ireland, France and North America
1966 23 November   Australia Draw 3–3 1966 Australia Tour of Britain and France
1969 12 November   South Africa Won 11–6 1969 South Africa Tour of UK
1973 10 January   New Zealand Loss 15–20 1972–73 New Zealand rugby union tour of the British Isles
1974 9 October   Tonga Win 14–6 1974 Tonga Tour of the British Isles
1976 7 January   Australia Loss 7–13 1975–76 Australia rugby union tour of Britain and Ireland
1980 28 October   New Zealand Loss 3–14 1980 All Blacks tour
1985 30 October   Fiji Loss 6–7 1985 Fiji tour of the British Isles
1989 31 October   New Zealand Loss 9–54 1989 New Zealand rugby union tour of the British Isles and Canada
2001 18 November   Uruguay Win 59–5 2001 Uruguay rugby union tour of Wales

See alsoEdit


  • Smith, David; Williams, Gareth (1980). Fields of Praise: The Official History of The Welsh Rugby Union. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. ISBN 0-7083-0766-3.


  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. ^ Sourced 15 December 2018
  3. ^ Parry-Jones, David (1989). The Rugby Clubs of Wales. p. 96. ISBN 0-09-173850-4.
  4. ^ a b Smith (1980), pg 25.
  5. ^ Smith (1980), pg 23.
  6. ^ "Interesting Facts". Archived from the original on 21 August 2007. Retrieved 17 November 2007.
  7. ^ Smith (1980), pg 34.
  8. ^ Smith (1980), pg 41.
  9. ^ Smith (1980), pg 40.
  10. ^ a b Smith (1980), pg 35.
  11. ^ Smith (1980), pg 71.
  12. ^ Smith (1980), pg 189.
  13. ^ Newport beat New Zealand.
  14. ^ "Newport rugby freedom presentation". Newport City Council. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  15. ^ Smith (1980), pg 485.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 December 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ Newport RFC Squad

External linksEdit

External linksEdit