• President
    • Gerald Davies CBE
  • Vice Presidents
    • Andrew Brace
    • DE Brierley
    • Jack Evans
    • Bob Garwood
    • Simon Gulliford
    • David Harries
    • Owain Harries
    • Dr Keith Hughes
    • Peter Jackson
    • W Hopkin Joseph
    • Gerry Latham
    • Ian Lewis
    • Byron Light
    • Greg Lock
    • Nigel Perris
    • Martyn Ryan
    • Anthony Tarr
    • Denys Thomas
    • Richard Whiting
    • John Williams
    • Nick Williams
    • Gary Witchell
  • Life Members
    • Malcolm Baker
    • Gerald Davies CBE
    • Jack Davies
    • Leighton Davies
    • Denis Evans
    • Dennis Gethin OBE
    • Wyn Oliver
  • Chairman
    • Jack Davies
  • Hon Secretary
    • Denys Thomas
  • Treasurer
    • Jon Davis
  • Vice Chairman
    • Tim Lowe
  • Match Secretary
    • Dr Keith Hughes
  • Head Coach
    • Adrian Evans
  • Executive Committee
    • Jack Davies
    • Denys Thomas
    • Jon Davis
    • Tim Lowe
    • Steve Williams
    • Adrian Evans
    • Dr Keith Hughes
    • Rhys Evans
    • Gethin Evans
    • Alun Wynne
    • Dr Brian Rees OBE
    • Wyn Hughes
    • David Williams
    • Gareth Nicholas
    • Richard Emms
    • Steve Whitehead
    • Paul Evans
    • Colin Workman
    • Bob Dyer
    • Paul Jones
    • Simon Thomas

Welsh Academicals History : A Divine Intervention

Gerald Davies CBE


At times in their history the Accies have nurtured greatness in Rugby, perhaps through friendly encouragement to a major talent in its infancy.This is the debt acknowledged here by the incomparable Gerald Davies, who describes an occasion when, for once, he was glad to be a spectator.


I cherish the Welsh Academicals and warmly embrace what they stand for. I cherish them also because they invited me, as a green student, to play for them - and in so doing helping me to understand what it was like to go on a rugby tour. The Accies gave me my first taste of touring: of the gathering spirit of camaraderie, of getting on with each other, of the need to give and take, of pulling together - if you see what I mean - so that we became a team. I travelled quite a bit after that but the first lessons were learnt and absorbed by then.

Perhaps, then, I ought to reminisce about the Accies way of playing Rugby; of the fun down Cornwall Way and of the running game.

But, no. There was a lesson I learned which held me in good stead for ever after. And there is one person I have been deeply indebted to ever since. But this has nothing whatsoever to do with timing the side step or refining the swerve; nothing at all to do perfecting the swing pass, of seeing the gap and of selling the perfect dummy...... although I have to admit that what I learned had something to do with a "dummy".

I very nearly became one.

No. What I learned was never, ever to believe that it was possible - however mighty the man, however convincing the voice of persuasion - to accomplish a "three man lift". Oh, no!!

In the back of the bus after the game, sitting next to a prominent - perhaps to this youngster the most prominent - Accies alickado I was stretching an ear (being the most inquisitive of students, waiting to learn about everything and everyone) to what was being gossiped about in the seat in front of us. One of the players, clearly in his maturing years, was bragging about how he could - given a pint or two - lift three men off the floor. His companion was disputing the point. They argued loudly enough for others, especially the inveterate eavesdropped behind them, to hear. Slowly but surely the web was being weaved; the nosey fly was being ensnared.

"Do you believe that one man can lift three men off the floor?" said one of them, half turning to us, his arm creeping round and engulfing the head-rest of his seat

"No, I don't," said the dupe behind.

"Well, I can", said the spider.

"Impossible", said the fly.

"Um, said my committee-man neighbour, "I think that perhaps he can. He's a big fellow."

"Oh ,come on! Three men? Off the floor? He can't. No one can do that."

"Well, perhaps he can. Give him the benefit of the doubt, shall we? said my pal - who would forever be my pal.

"Well, no," I said. "I don't believe it. In fact..." oh, dear, the fatal words were about ot be uttered: "In fact, I'd like to see such a feat for myself."

Oops. The two in front turned around in lascivious haste, kneeling on their seats looking at me with eyes wide open,, a thin smile breaking on their faces; and one of them - I do believe - licked his lipsmuch as, I fancy, Dracula does when a claret lipped damsel comes into his ken.

"Listen to me now, Gerald bach - if you never listen again, listen to this. It is better to believe this claim. He's a big strong number eight."








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