Cliff Williams (rugby union, born 1898)

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For the Welsh rugby union and rugby league footballer of the 1960s and '70s, see Clifford Williams (rugby).
Cliff Williams
Full name Clifford Williams
Date of birth (1898-04-20)20 April 1898
Place of birth Llangennech, Wales
Date of death 28 May 1930(1930-05-28) (aged 32)
Place of death Cardiff, Wales
School Llangennech School
Occupation(s) police officer
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Hooker
Amateur clubs
Years Club / team
Llangennech RFC
Llanelli RFC
Cardiff RFC
Glamorgan Police RFC
Royal Navy
Bargoed RFC
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1924–1925 Wales 2 (0)

Clifford Williams (20 April 1898 – 28 May 1930)[1] was a Welsh international rugby union hooker who played club rugby most notably for Llanelli and Cardiff. Williams played two matches for Wales, against New Zealand in 1924 and England in 1925.

Personal history[edit]

Williams was born in Llangennech in 1898, becoming a collier on leaving school. He served in the Royal Navy during the First World War, and on return to civilian duties he joined the Glamorgan Constabulary. He died at the age of 32, shortly after his marriage.[2]

Rugby career[edit]

Williams first played rugby as a schoolboy, representing Llangennech School, before progressing to the Llangennech club. He switched to first-class side Llanelli, and while at the club he was first selected for the Wales national side in a game against the 1924 touring New Zealanders. Initially the Aberavon forward, Bob Randall, had been the preferred choice as hooker, but withdrew with a knee injury, allowing Williams to take his place.[3] The match was a one-sided affair with Wales outclassed in speed and combination, but the Welsh forwards worked tirelessly against a much heavier pack.[4] The game ended 19-0 to New Zealand.[5]

Just three days later, on 2 December, Williams faced the New Zealand 'All Blacks' again, this time as part of his club team Llanelli. Williams, along with Albert Jenkins and Ernie Finch, who were also part of the Wales team that faced New Zealand, inspired the team in a close encounter.[6] It was only some poor Llanelli kicking that cost the club team a victory over an exceptional touring side.[7]

Williams won his second and final cap in the England encounter of the 1926 Five Nations Championship. The next season, Williams switched club to Cardiff, spending two years and making 39 appearances for the 'Blues'. His time with the Royal Navy and Glamorgan Constabulary, saw him represent the rugby teams of both.


  • Billot, John (1972). All Blacks in Wales. Ferndale: Ron Jones Publications. 
  • Hughes, Gareth (1986). The Scarlets: A History of Llanelli Rugby Club. Llanelli: Llanelli Borough Council. ISBN 0-906821-05-3. 
  • Jenkins, John M.; et al. (1991). Who's Who of Welsh International Rugby Players. Wrexham: Bridge Books. ISBN 1-872424-10-4. 
  • 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. 


  1. ^ Cliff Williams player profile ESPN
  2. ^ Jenkins (1991) p. 167
  3. ^ Billot (1972) p.67
  4. ^ Billot (1972) p.68
  5. ^ "New Zealand tour - Swansea, 29 November 1924, Wales (0) 0 - 19 (11) New Zealand". ESPN Scrum. Retrieved 29 April 2011. 
  6. ^ Billot (1972) p.70
  7. ^ Billot (1972) p.69