IRB Hall of Fame
IRB Hall of Fame – Induction No.60 – Bleddyn Llewellyn Williams MBE & Dr Jack Matthews OBE (Cardiff, Wales, British & Irish Lions)
Two of the legends inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame at the IRB World Rugby Conference and Exhibition in Dublin on 18 November 2013.
Born: 22 February 1923 in Taff’s Well, Wales
Died: 6 July 2009
International career: 1947-1955
Nickname: Prince of Centres
Born: 21 June 1920 in Bridgend, Wales
Died: 18 July 2012
International career: 1947-1951
The two Welsh centres formed an uniquely complementary and successful partnership at club, national team and Lions levels after the Second World War. They played together for Cardiff and Wales and they both captained their club and the country. They also played for the 1950 Lions in both New Zealand and Australia. Bleddyn Williams, the third of eight rugby-playing brothers, made his international debut against England in 1947 at fly half, the first of his 22 Welsh caps – the other 21 were at centre. He captained Wales in five Tests, winning all five, and remains to this date the only Welsh captain to boast a 100 per cent success record. He was vice-captain of the 1950 Lions and played in five of the six Tests, injury having prevented him from playing in the first Test. With Karl Mullen injured he captained the Lions in three of the six Tests – two in New Zealand and one in Australia. He became a very successful rugby commentator and was awarded an MBE for services to rugby. Dr. Jack Matthews made his international debut in a non-cap Victory International against France, one of the five War Internationals he played in. Described as one of the fiercest tacklers in the game, he won 17 caps for Wales and six for the 1950 Lions, four in New Zealand and two in Australia. He captained both Cardiff and Wales and became the first Lions team doctor with the 1980 tourists to South Africa.
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