Sir Gareth Edwards

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Gareth was one of the greatest scrum halves ever to play Rugby Union and formed outstanding Wales and Lions half-back partnerships with Barry John and then Phil Bennett. The first player to gain 50 caps for Wales, whom he skippered 13 times, he scored one of the best-remembered tries for the Barbarians v New Zealand (1973) after another amazing score in the Cardiff mud against Scotland (1972). He toured with the Lions to South Africa in 1968 (2 tests); Australia and NZ (4 tests) in 1971 and South Africa in 1974 (4 tests). He began his rugby at school in Pontardawe and thereafter at Millfield in Somerset, also being a noted hurdler and gained the English Schools title (1964), while at rugby he was capped by Wales Secondary Schools (1965) and played for Cwmgors, Cardiff College of Education and Cardiff Athletic, before his debut for Cardiff in 1966. In 1967 he gained his cap in Paris against France. He played 53 successive games for Wales with the first of his 20 tries coming against England at Twickenham in 1968 – his fourth cap. He scored other brilliant tries including one in Paris against France (1969) and the one that brought a 6-6 draw against South Africa in Cardiff (1970). For Cardiff he played 195 matches and toured South Africa 1967, Rhodesia 1972 and Canada 1977. For Wales he toured NZ, Australia and Fiji (1969); Canada as captain (1973) and Japan/Hong Kong (1975). He played for England-Wales v Scotland-Ireland (1970 & 1975) and for the Barbarians v NZ (1974), Australia (1976) and the Lions (1977). He also played for a World XV v South Africa (1977) and competed in a World Superstars event in Pine Mountain, Georgia (USA). His 20 tries were then a Wales record as were his 53 caps. A superb sculpture of him appears in Cardiff and shows him delivering one of his long, immaculate passes. In 2015 he was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for sporting and charitable services.