Horace Lyne

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Horace Lyne
Full name Horace Sampson Lyne
Date of birth (1860-12-31)31 December 1860
Place of birth Newport, Wales
Date of death 1 May 1949(1949-05-01) (aged 88)
Place of death Newport, Wales[1]
School Plymouth School
Royal Naval College, Keyham
Rugby union career
Position(s) Forward
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1878-1885 Newport RFC ()
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1882-1887 Wales[2] 5 (0)

Horace Sampson Lyne MBE (31 December 1860 - 1 May 1949) was a Welsh international rugby union forward who played club rugby for Newport Rugby Football Club. He won five caps for Wales and after retiring from playing rugby became the longest serving president of the Welsh Rugby Union. Lyne is also notable as one of the six representatives that set up the International Rugby Board.

Playing career[edit]

Lyne played most of his club rugby with Newport, spending 8 seasons with the club between 1878 and 1885. He captained Newport in his final full season in 1883/1884. Lyne was first selected for Wales during the 1883 Home Nations Championship in an away match at Raeburn Park to Scotland. This was the first time that the two teams had played each other, and Wales, under the captaincy of Charles Lewis, lost by three goals to one. Lyne played in the next four Welsh games, including all three games of the 1884 Championship and the opening game of the 1885 Championship, which was against England at St Helens in Swansea. He retired from playing rugby in 1885 but continued his association with the game when in 1885 he refereed the match between England and Ireland.

International matches played[edit]


Administrative career[edit]

Lyne had taken a clear interest in the affairs of Welsh rugby while still a player, but on his retirement from playing he began applying for administritive posts within the sport. In 1887 Lyne, along with WRU secretary Richard Mullock, became one of the Welsh representatives of the International Board, the body set up to regulate the sport in Britain.[4] Lyne would serve on the board of the IB, later becoming the International Rugby Board, from 1887 to 1938. Lyne was in demand as an administrator and was seen as very fairminded.[5] He was also a forward thinker, and voiced concerns regarding the North of England breaking away from the IRB, years before the formation of rugby league. As the chair of the Welsh Football Union, he met up with Neath secretary, Walter E. Rees, the man with whom he would run the WRU for near four decades. In 1892 Lyne was voted in as one of four vice-presidents of the WRU, with joint responsibilities for Cardiff and the East area. During the same meeting, Mullock, who was extremely unpopular with the Welsh rugby clubs, was replaced as secretary by William Gwynn.[6]

In 1906, Lyne replaced Sir John T. Llewellyn as the President of the Welsh Rugby Union, a role he would hold until 1947 making him the longest serving president. He was succeeded by Sir David Rocyn-Jones.

Lyne was also the Chairman of Newport Athletic Club from 1894 to 1949.


  • Parry-Jones, David (1999). Prince Gwyn, Gwyn Nicholls and the First Golden Era of Welsh Rugby. Bridgend: seren. ISBN 1-85411-262-7. 
  • 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. ^ Newport RFC player profile Archived 2011-06-17 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Welsh Rugby Union player profiles
  3. ^ Smith (1980), pg 469.
  4. ^ Smith (1980), pg 50.
  5. ^ Smith (1980), pg 51.
  6. ^ Smith (1980), pg 78.
Rugby Union Captain
Preceded by
Charlie Newman
Newport RFC Captain
Succeeded by
Tom Clapp