Clive Rowlands: Welsh Rugby Legend Passes Away 85

Image of obituary for former Welsh Ruby manager Clive Rowlands.

Image of obituary for former Welsh Ruby manager Clive Rowlands. Credit: Twitter@WelshRugbyUnion

THE Welsh Rugby Union announced the death this Sunday, July 30, of Clive Rowlands OBE, aged 85.

Recognised as an all-time great of the game, Rowlands represented his country as scrum-half 14 times, captaining the side on each occasion between 1963 and 1965. In 1964 ‘Top Cat’ led the team to a Five Nations title that they shared with Scotland.

He subsequently became the national team manager, taking charge of 29 matches between 1968 and 1974, a period during which Wales won the Grand Slam in 1971.

In 1987 he guided Wales to third place in the first Rugby World Cup

His proudest managerial moment would have been in the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987 when he guided Wales to a third-place finish.

Co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia, the tournament was won by New Zealand, who thrashed the Welsh 49-6 in the semi-final in Ballymore, Brisbane. His men recovered from that defeat to overcome Australia by the narrow margin of 22-21 in the third-place playoff.

Rowlands was also bestowed the honour of managing the British and Irish Lions when they toured Australia in 1989. After serving on the General Committee for many years, he was appointed as president of the WRU in 1989.

A statement was released by the WRU

‘The Welsh Rugby Union sends the most sincere condolences from everyone connected with the game in Wales to Clive’s family and friends and thanks him for his immense contribution to our game,’ read an official statement from the WRU.

Mike Forshaw, the Welsh defence coach commented: ‘We heard that in the last hour or so. From all the players and staff, we want to send our condolences to the family. He was a great rugby man and he’s been in our thoughts this morning in Turkey’, as reported by The Sun.

According to the preface of the book ‘The Children of Craig-Y-Nos’, as an eight-year-old child in 1947, Clive Rowlands was admitted to Craig-y-Nos TB hospital in Breconshire.

He battled back to full health and was given a rugby ball as a gift which he accidentally kicked through a glass door. As a result, he was put in a straitjacket for a week.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at