Mark Ring

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Mark Ring
Full name Mark Gerarde Ring
Date of birth (1962-10-15)15 October 1962
Place of birth Cardiff, Wales
School Lady Mary High School, Cardiff
Occupation(s) Businessman
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Centre
Amateur clubs
Years Club / team
Cardiff RFC
Pontypool RFC
Barbarian F.C.
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1983–1991 Wales 32 (34)

Mark Gerarde Ring (born 15 October 1962)[1] played rugby union for Cardiff RFC, Pontypool RFC and Wales between 1982 and 1996. He was regarded as among the most gifted players of his generation but his career was hampered by serious injury.[2]

Club career[edit]

A great entertainer, Ring was noted for his cheek, flair and individual skill. He first came to attention as outside half for the Cardiff RFC Youth team where he gained selection for Wales Youth, scoring a try on debut v England. He made his senior debut as an 18 year old during his Youth season against Cote Des Basques in Biarritz for whom a certain Serge Blanco scored 3 tries! He played in and won 3 Welsh Cup Finals and played for Cardiff when they defeated the 1984 Australian Tourists who completed the Grand Slam of Tests but yet again, failed to defeat a Cardiff Team who still remain unbeaten against every Australian Touring team who ever crossed these shores. He became a great crowd favourite with his hometown club but also spent a few seasons at Pontypool RFC where he formed a notable half back partnership with David Bishop (rugby, born 1960) in 1987-88 and where there were only two defeats suffered all season and they remained undefeated away from home. He returned to Pontypool RFC in 1992. He was a Club Championship winner for both Cardiff and Pontypool. He played more than 250 games for Cardiff and scored 94 tries and 677 points.

International career[edit]

He made his Senior Wales debut against England as a 20 year old and went on to gain 32 International Caps between 1983 and 1991. The highlight of his international career came in 1988 when he was part of a Triple Crown winning Welsh side. The majority of his caps were won in the centre position but he played in his favoured outside half role throughout the 1991 Rugby World Cup. He played in 2 World Cups (1987 & 1991) Wales finished 3rd in 1987, having defeated Australia in the 3rd & 4th place play off in Rotarua but failed to qualify from their group in 1991, having been surprisingly defeated by Western Samoa. Ring played 2 Test Matches for The Barbarians losing against the 1984 Australians and defeating the 1991 Argentinian Touring Team where he formed a brilliant Centre partnership with New Zealand Centre Craig Innes. Ring was selected for 2 World XV Touring Squads, one to celebrate the Western Province Centenary in 1983 and the other to celebrate the South African Rugby Board's Centenary in 1989. He Captained Wales on 2 occasions when Wales Toured Namibia in 1991, though not in any of the Tests. Ring was Wales' Rugby Writers Player of the Year in 1985, when Ieuan Evans was Wales' Young Player award winner.

Coaching career[edit]

Mark Ring ended his top flight club career in 1996 after the first Heineken Cup Final, when Cardiff were beaten by Stade Toulousain. He moved into coaching, first at West Hartlepool RFC as Player/Director of Rugby and then moved on to a similar role at Penzance and Newlyn Pirates. He later moved back to Cardiff where he was an attached coach under former playing colleague David Young but was rarely used and whilst still employed as a Development Officer with the Club's Capital Rugby Scheme he moved to Caerphilly RFC, where he worked under Terry Holmes and alongside Tony Faulkener. Following Holmes' departure Ring won plaudits as Head Coach of Caerphilly RFC whom he took to the 3rd tier European Final at the Madjedski Stadium, losing to Castres Olympique. He later moved to Ireland to coach a feeder team for Munster called Old Crescent in AIL Division 2. He then returned across the water and to coach Tetbury RFC in Gloucestershire Division Two as well as coaching the University of Glamorgan team in Treforest nr Pontypridd. He then spent 4 seasons at Welsh Premier Division side Cross Keys RFC who went on to defeat Pontypridd in the Welsh Cup Final the week after being defeated by Munster 'A' in the final of the British & Irish Cup in Cork. He later came back to his home town Club as Attack coach at Cardiff RFC and as an attached coach at the Blues under former playing colleague Phil Davies. Ring has since been sacked by Cardiff RFC following several outbursts of dissatisfaction with other coaches at the Club. He currently coaches St Peter's RFC in Division 2 East Central of WRU's Swalec League.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Mark Ring player profile Scrum.com
  2. ^ Jenkins, John M.; et al. (1991). Who's Who of Welsh International Rugby Players. Wrexham: Bridge Books. p. 140. ISBN 1-872424-10-4.