Evan James (rugby)

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Evan James
Evan James, rugby player.JPG
Full name Evan James
Place of birth Swansea, Wales
Place of death Bonymaen, Wales[1]
Height 5ft. 7in.[2]
Notable relative(s) David James (brother)
Rugby league career
Position(s) Halfback
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Half-back
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Swansea RFC
Swansea RFC
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1890-1899 Wales[3] 5 (0)

Evan James (1869 - 18 August 1901) was a Welsh rugby half back who played club rugby for Swansea under the rugby union code, and professional rugby league for Broughton Rangers. While playing with Swansea, James was paired with his brother, David James and together they were nicknamed the 'Swansea gems' and the 'Curly haired marmosets'. The brothers were the centre of a controversial move to the league game in 1892 and switched codes twice in their careers.

Rugby career[edit]

James was first capped for his country on 1 February 1890 in a match against Scotland, which was more notable for being the debut game for Swansea team-mate and Wales legend Billy Bancroft. His debut, without his brother as support, was deemed a total failure.[4] On 7 March 1891, against Ireland at Stradey Park, James turned out for Wales alongside his brother to keep together their Swansea partnership. James's fifth and final cap took a seven-year gap to obtain when he turned out against England in 1899.[5]

In 1892, James and his brother supposedly turned out for professional rugby league team Broughton Rangers, after which the Rugby Football Union banned them both from rugby union. In 1896, an appeal from Swansea and Wales was successful and the brothers were reinstated. On 28 January, three weeks after their final cap, David and Evan actually joined Broughton Rangers, and severed their links with rugby union.[6]

International matches played[edit]



  • Godwin, Terry (1984). The International Rugby Championship 1883-1983. London: Willows Books. ISBN 0-00-218060-X. 
  • Griffiths, John (1987). The Phoenix Book of International Rugby Records. London: Phoenix House. ISBN 0-460-07003-7. 
  • Richards, Alun (1980). A Touch of Glory: 100 Years of Welsh Rugby. London: Michael Joseph. ISBN 0-7181-1938-X. 
  • 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. ^ Swansea RFC player profile
  2. ^ Parry-Jones (1999), pg 31.
  3. ^ Welsh Rugby Union player profile[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Smith (1980), pg 64.
  5. ^ "Statistics at scrum.com". scrum.com. 2008-12-31. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  6. ^ Robert Gate (1986). "Gone North - Volume 1". R. E. Gate. ISBN 0-9511190-0-1
  7. ^ Smith (1980), pg 467.