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Gareth Edwards Article



Gareth Edwards
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Gareth Owen Edwards (born 12 July 1947 in Pontardawe, Wales) is a former Welsh rugby union footballer who plays scrum-half, considered by many to be the greatest player in the history of the game.
Edwards was a miner's son from Gwaun-cae-Gurwen. He won a scholarship to the elite Millfield Public School.
He first played for Wales in 1967 at the age of 19. Between 1967 and 1978 Edwards won 53 caps for Wales, including 13 as captain. All his caps were won in succession, he never once had a dip in form or an injury that would allow anybody else to take his place.
He is Wales' youngest ever captain, gaining his first captaincy at the age of 20. During his era the Welsh side dominated the Five Nations Championship, winning the ***le seven times, including three grand slams.
He also played ten times for the British Lions, playing for the legendary 1971 Lions team that was the only such team to win a series in New Zealand and for the unbeaten 1974 side in South Africa.
Edwards was blessed with extreme pace and married this with strength, agility and guile, scoring twenty tries in internationals. His try for the Barbarians against the All Blacks in 1973 at Cardiff Arms Park, often referred to simply as 'that try', is commonly said to be the greatest ever and is available to view on the [Barbarians Website http://www.barbarianfc.co.uk/videogallery.shtml]. The move starting deep with Phil Bennett inside his own 22, and passing through five other pairs of hands before Edwards finished it with a diving score in the corner.
When he wrote his autobiography he was branded a 'professional' and was prevented from coaching or being involved in any way with the sport of rugby union.
In a poll of international rugby players conducted in 2003 by Rugby World magazine, Edwards was declared the greatest player of all time. He now commentates on the game for the BBC and S4C, commentating for the latter in Welsh, his mother tongue. A statue of Gareth Edwards stands in the St David's shopping centre, Cardiff.

he scored some twenty tries in just over 50 internationals.
some more info

When Wales enjoyed its finest decade of rugby success, Gareth Edwards was an ever-present factor.
At school in Pontardawe near Swansea, his abilities were spotted by teacher and rugby coach Bill Samuels. Samuels encouraged him to try for a place at Millfield, a top English public school that would reduce its fees for less well-off boys with sporting talent.
Gareth cites Samuels as a key influence on his subsequent career, along with his father. Glan Edwards still had to make significant sacrifices on his miner’s wages so Gareth could go to Millfield. There he played alongside another Welsh boy, the young J.P.R. Williams. The most feared back line in rugby history was already being formed.
At 19, Gareth represented Wales for the first time against France. The following season he was captaining the side, the youngest player ever to do so. Initially he faced some scepticism from the ever-critical Welsh rugby public. Soon the results would speak for themselves. Edwards steered Wales to three Grand Slams and five Triple Crowns.
His touring exploits with the British Lions against the hard men of the southern hemisphere are no less legendary. The 1971 Lions were the first to notch up a series win over the New Zealand All Blacks. Three years later they triumphed over the South African Springboks with Nelson Mandela cheering them on from his prison cell.
1973 saw the Gareth Edwards try that connoisseurs of the game still regard as the finest ever scored. It was for the Barbarians against the All Blacks in a match designed as a rerun of the epic third test at Wellington two years previously.
The quivering excitement in Cliff Morgan’s commentary as he tracks Edwards’ searing sprint to the line beautifully dramatises a great sporting moment.
In the era in which rugby defined Wales to the world, Edwards defined rugby to Wales.
Without a shadow of a doubt the best scrum half of all time and he would a strong case for being the best player of all time

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