Bernard Cowey

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Bernard Cowey
Birth name Bernard Turing Vionnee Cowey
Date of birth (1911-11-20)20 November 1911
Place of birth Tidworth,[1] England
Date of death 20 August 1997(1997-08-20) (aged 85)
Place of death Nottingham, England
School Wellington College, Berkshire
Occupation(s) soldier
Rugby union career
Position(s) Wing
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Army XV
London Welsh RFC
Newport RFC
Barbarian F.C.
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1934-1935 Wales[2] 4 (9)

Brigadier Bernard 'Bun' Cowey DSO, OBE (20 November 1911 – 20 August 1997) was an English rugby union wing who played club rugby for Newport and international rugby for Wales. Unlike most rugby internationals Cowey was most associated with the Army Rugby Union rather than club or county rugby. In his later, life he became Chairman of the Army Rugby Union.[3]

Rugby career[edit]

Cowey was born in Tidworth, Wiltshire in 1911 but when he joined the British Armed Forces, he was posted in the Welch Regiment, traditionally the reserve of Welsh nationals. He played rugby while on duty, for his regiment and later played for the Army's own rugby team. Outside the army, Cowey played for two first class rugby union clubs' London Welsh and Newport. It was while playing with Newport that he was selected to play for Wales after his service with the Welch Regiment made him eligible to represent his adoptive country.

Cowey's first cap was in the 1934 Home Nations Championship, where he was one of 13 new caps to be tested by Wales, in a match at the Cardiff Arms Park against England. Wales's inexperience showed and they lost 9-0. Although five of the players from that match were never selected for Wales again, Cowey wasn't amongst them and returned for the next game against Scotland. The Scottish game was far more successful for Wales, with a strong performance from Cliff Jones. Cowey repaid the selectors trust in him with two tries in the Scotland match, and again in the last game of the tournament when he scored another against Ireland. Cowey's final game for Wales was during the 1935 Championship when he again faced England. Under the captaincy of Wilf Wooller, Wales drew the match after a late penalty goal from Boughton.

International matches played[edit]



  • Smith, David; Williams, Gareth (1980). Fields of Praise: The Official History of The Welsh Rugby Union. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. ISBN 0-7083-0766-3.