Jonathan Davies (rugby player born 1962)
|Full name||Jonathan D. Davies|
24 October 1962 |
Trimsaran, Carmarthenshire, Wales
|Height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
|Weight||12 st 1 lb (77 kg)|
|Position||Fullback, Wing, Centre, Five-eighth|
|1995||Nth. Qld. Cowboys||9||1||19||1||43|
|Source: Rugby League Project|
Jonathan D. Davies MBE (born 24 October 1962) is a Welsh retired professional dual-code rugby footballer who represented his country in both rugby union and rugby league. A goal-kicking backline player in both codes, he played his club football in Wales, England and Australia. Davies has since become a television rugby football commentator and media personality, in both the English and Welsh languages.
Jonathan Davies was born in Trimsaran, Carmarthenshire. Davies is the son of Diana and Len Davies, who worked in Trostre, Llanelli, he started his career in rugby union at amateur level but was recruited into rugby league. He would later return to rugby union. Davies played centre for Swansea and Llanelli RFC. Len had also been made Captain of Trimsaran Rugby Club. Davies has one younger sister, Caroline (born 1964).
Davies started school at Trimsaran Primary School, where he was part of the Welsh medium class. His teacher Meirion Davies introduced him to rugby, and he started playing Rugby Sevens. Although he did not have the strong physique for the contact sport, his talent and flair for the game was recognised by many, including local great Carwyn James. Davies passed his Eleven Plus and was sent to Gwendraeth Grammar School, where he met his first wife Karen Hopkins whom he was to marry some ten years later. In 1974 Davies played for the very first time at Cardiff Arms Park, when he was chosen for the West Wales Under 12's.
Rugby union 
Age 17, Davies left school and became an apprentice painter and decorator. After developing at Trimsaran RFC, he was given a trial with Llanelli but was rejected. Neath gave him another chance and he signed with them in 1982, selected to play at fly-half.
After 35 games for Neath he was selected to play for Wales, against England at home at the Cardiff Arms Park. After scoring a try and a drop goal, Davies was named Man of the Match in the Welsh victory.
Jonathan was made captain at Neath before being transferred to Llanelli. In 1988 he played a very important part in the Triple Crown success for Wales and between 1985 and 1997 he won 37 rugby union caps.
Problems in the Welsh game were cruelly exposed on the 1988 New Zealand tour with injuries meaning Davies captained the side in four games - he stood out as the class player. The two tests were lost by fifty point margins, although Davies did score a 90 metre try in the second. Davies returned with ideas for Welsh rugby on how it could improve - he was ignored. Davies was blamed in the media for the surprising Welsh defeat to Romania. As Llanelli placed pressure on him from the WRU to commit himself wholeheartedly to them, he controversially decided for the best interests of his family to move to the rugby league team Widnes, who signed him for £225,000
Rugby league 
Davies started in Rugby League with much anticipation, and took time to adjust to the differing sport and its rules. As he learned the game and tried to bulk up, during the 1989–90 Rugby Football League season, he played for defending champions Widnes at centre in their 1989 World Club Challenge victory against the visiting Canberra Raiders. In 1991 he took on a further challenge when he spent the summer in Sydney playing for the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
After Widnes got into financial difficulties, in 1993 he moved to their local rivals Warrington. During his time in rugby league he represented both Great Britain and Wales, memorably scoring the lone try in Great Britain's last defeat of the Kangaroos at the old Wembley in 1994. He was also named player of the 1993-94 season, winning the RFL's Man of Steel Award.
Davies had small stints playing with Australian rugby league teams the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in 1991, and the North Queensland Cowboys in 1995. A huge signing with fantastic potential for the Cowboys squad, was unfortunately unable to get out to Australia until mid way through the 1995 Winfield Cup Premiership. Thus the Cowboys were already looking down and out for the year and the team morale was rather low. He showed signs of brilliance, especially in a fantastic full field try against the Newcastle Knights in Newcastle. But he was openly critical of the infant club's administration and struggled to have an impact week in and week out, resulting in a release from the club.
Return to rugby union 
After the birth of daughter Geena in 1995, Davies' wife Karen was diagnosed with cancer. In need of family support and as rugby union had turned professional, Davies went back to South Wales and signed to play for Cardiff RFC.
Davies had a lot of trouble readjusting to rugby union, particularly as he was played out of position: despite the fact that he had played many different positions in league he had only ever played fly-half in union. Many thought that his team mates deliberately did not pass the ball to him as they considered him a traitor for 'going North' in the first place. On a guest appearance on A Question of Sport in 1995 he was asked what the biggest change was after returning to rugby union. Davies replied "It's the first time I've been cold for seven years. I was never cold playing rugby league."
In 1996 Davies was awarded an MBE and went with his family to Buckingham Palace to collect his award. Sadly in 1997, his wife Karen died.
After Rugby 
Davies's parents left Trimsaran and moved to Cardiff so that they could help their son raise his young family.
Since retiring from rugby, Davies' cross-code technical knowledge of rugby tactics has enabled him to gain media work commentating and reviewing rugby games in both codes. He has worked as a television pundit for the BBC covering both rugby codes, in both English and Welsh language.
Personal life 
Davies passed his Eleven Plus and was sent to Gwendraeth Grammar School, where he met his first wife Karen Hopkins. The couple married ten years later, and had three children.
In August 2002 Davies married his second wife Helen in Cardiff. She was formerly part of the Welsh dance troupe the DCD Seniors, who reached the semi-final of Britain's Got Talent in 2009. The best man role was taken by his long-time friend and ex-rugby player Ieuan Evans.
Career Records 
|Cardiff RFC||1996-7||Retired at end of season|
|North Queensland Cowboys||1995||9||1||19||1||43|
- "Gareth Thomas completes switch from union to Wales rugby league side Crusaders". telegraph.co.uk (UK: Telegraph Media Group Limited). 2010-03-05. Retrieved 2010-05-02. More than one of
- Jonathan Davies - Wales Rugby Player - Rugby-Heroes.net
- Davies, Jonathan (2000-10-22). "Roll up and glory in the best". The Independent (UK: Independent News and Media Limited). Retrieved 2009-12-24. More than one of
- "Crusader Watkins replaces Davies". BBC News. 2009-07-11. Retrieved 2010-05-07.
5. Jonathan Davies - Codebreaker (Bloomsbury) with Peter Corrigan
Further reading 
- Davies, Jonathan; Peter Corrigan (1996). Jonathan Davies: code breaker. Bloomsbury. ISBN 0-7475-2551-X, 9780747525516 Check