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Thomas Gerald Reames Davies CBE (born 7 February 1945 in Llansaintmarker) is one of the acknowledged greats of Welsh rugby, playing for the side between 1966 and 1978.


Born in Llansaintmarker, Carmarthenshiremarker, under the local coal miners scholarship scheme he studied at Loughborough Universitymarker, before studying at Emmanuel Collegemarker, University of Cambridgemarker and appearing for the University rugby team. Davies taught at Christ's Hospital in Horsham, Sussex from 1971 to 1974 when he took up a post with the Sports Council for Wales.

Rugby career

Davies played club rugby for Cardiff RFC and London Welsh. He captained Cardiff for three seasons in the 1970s, his most famous game for Cardiff probably being a 1977-8 Welsh Cup game against Pontypool when he scored four tries (beating his marker and near namesake Gareth Davies on each occasion) to earn his side a 16-11 win.

He made his international debut on Saturday, 3 December 1966 against Australia in Cardiffmarker, where Wales lost 14-11 - he was to face the Wallabies again in his final appearance for Wales in 1978, this time in Sydney, and again a loss. All in all, he was capped 46 times for his country. He was switched from his original position of centre to the right wing by Wales coach Clive Rowlands on their 1969 tour of Australia and New Zealand, and thereafter played in that position.

Davies toured with the British Lions in 1968 and 1971 and was part of the group of Welsh Seventies legends, ranking in rugby history alongside Gareth Edwards, Barry John, JPR Williams, Phil Bennett and Bobby Windsor. A superb attacking player, he has been called one of the best wingers rugby has ever seen. Davies is best remembered for his try - one of 20 in 46 Tests - in the 1971 Five Nations match against Scotland. The Scots were leading before Davies scored in the corner in the last minute. Backrower John Taylor then kicked his famous conversion to steal victory.

Invited to join the 1974 Lions Tour of South Africa, he turned the opportunity down on his personal uncomfortable position at the consequences and realities of apartheid.

Welsh & Lions Honours Summary

For Wales: 46 Internationals, of which Wales won 29, lost 14 and drew 3 (points for 758, points against 507). 20 tries, 8 of them before the value of a try was raised to four points in the 1971-72 season (72 points in all).

For the British Lions: 5 Internationals of which the Lions won two, lost two and drew one (points for 54, points against 53). Davies scored three tries for the Lions during Test games, all of them on the 1971 tour to New Zealand (9 points).

After retirement

After retiring as a player, Davies became a journalist, writing on rugby matters for The Times. He sat on Tasker Watkins committee to reform Welsh rugby. He became chairman of the Wales Youth Agency, and his commitment to youth work earned him a CBE in 2002.

Davies holds Honorary Fellowships from the University of Wales, Lampetermarker and the University of Wales, Aberystwythmarker. He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from Cardiff Universitymarker in a graduation ceremony held on the 15th of July 2008. On July 18th 2008, he received an honorary degree from Loughborough Universitymarker for services to sport and journalism.

In November 2007 he was announced as the manager of the 2009 British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa..



  1. Davies (1979), pg 90.
  2. Davies (1979), pg 126.
  3. Davies (1979), pg 130.
  4. Gerald Davies' Lions profile
  5. Davies named 2009 Lions manager, BBC website 20 November 2007

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