Rugby world pays tribute to Clive Rowlands OBE


Rugby world pays tribute to Clive Rowlands OBE

Welsh rugby legend and former manager of The British & Irish Lions, Clive Rowlands OBE, has died at the age of 85.

A former captain, coach and manager of the Welsh national team, Rowlands went on to manage the Lions on our Tour of Australia in 1989.

Rowlands also became President of the Welsh Rugby Union after serving on the General Committee.

Known as ‘Top Cat’, Rowlands earned the nickname by virtue of having captained Wales on all his international appearances.

A scrum-half, Rowlands made his debut as a player for Wales on 19 January 1963 against England at the Arms Park alongside David Watkins at fly-half.

He went on to win another 13 caps for his country between 1963-1965 with Wales going unbeaten throughout the 1964 Five Nations Championship, winning the title alongside Scotland that year and lifting the Triple Crown a year later.

He also created a world record 112 lineouts in an international by kicking from scum-half to beat Scotland at Murrayfield.

He quickly moved into coaching after retiring aged 29 and enjoyed great success with Wales, earning the Triple Crown in 1969 and a first Grand Slam in 19 years in 1971.

He led Wales as manager during the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987 and two years later was at the helm for the Lions Tour of Australia.

The Tour was the first visit for the Lions to Australia alone since 1899 and the squad became the only side to lose the opening Test and go on to win the series.

As noted in the Official History of The British & Irish Lions, Rowlands was a “notable character in his own right and a jovial man, he did a marvellous job as manager.”

All the thoughts of everyone at The British & Irish Lions are with the family and friends of Clive. He will be greatly missed by the entire rugby community.


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