James Bridie (rugby union)

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James Bridie
Full name James Bridie
Place of birth Greenock, Scotland
Place of death Oldham, England
School Madras College
Rugby union career
Position(s) Scrum-half
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Greenock Wanderers RFC
Penarth RFC
Cardiff RFC
Newport RFC
Manningham RFC
Bradford F.C.
Manningham RFC
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1882 Wales 1 ((0))

James Bridie (19 September 1857[1] – July→September 1893[2]) was a Scottish-born rugby union scrum-half who played club rugby union for Cardiff and Newport, international Wales and county rugby for Monmouthshire.

Rugby career[edit]

Bridie was born in Greenock in 1857 and was educated in Madras College, St. Andrews, before moving to Wales. In the 1881 census he was described as a rope agent and was living in the centre of Cardiff with his wife Marion. Although playing for several south-eastern Welsh clubs, he is most notable as a Newport player; and it is as a Newport player he was capped for the Welsh national team. His one and only international appearance was against Ireland in a friendly match before the Home Nations Championship was introduced.[3] The match against Ireland was only the second international Wales had played, and included eleven new caps, a reaction to the terrible defeat in the first Welsh game against England. Under the captaincy of Charles Lewis, Wales not only won the game, but Bridie found himself on the scoresheet when he scored one of four Welsh tries.

Although Bridie was not part of the team to face England in the opening match of the 1883 Home Nations Championship, he was selected for the second game, away to Scotland. The Scottish Rugby Union rejected his inclusion due to his original nationality, and he was withdrawn from the team, and never played for Wales again.[4]

During the 1885/1886 season, Bridie had found work in Bradford, and left behind his connections with Welsh rugby. Still wishing to continue playing rugby he joined local club Manningham RFC. After just playing one game for Manningham he turned out for bitter rivals Bradford, before switching back to Manningham RFC.[5] The Manningham supporters, created a chant based on the derogatory nursery rhyme, Taffy was a Welshman; despite the fact that Bridie was deemed not to be Welsh by the Scottish rugby fraternity.

Bridie was a Welshman
Bradford was a thief.
Bradford came to our house,
and now we are in grief.[5]

International matches played[edit]



  • Collins, Tony (1998). Rugby's Great Split, Class, Culture and Origins of Rugby League Football. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-7146-4867-5. 
  • Griffiths, John (1987). The Phoenix Book of International Rugby Records. London: Phoenix House. ISBN 0-460-07003-7. 
  • 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 Gwent Dragons player profiles Archived 2011-06-17 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 28 August 2009. 
  3. ^ "Statistics at espnscrum.com". espnscrum.com. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  4. ^ Newport RFC player profiles
  5. ^ a b Collins (1998), pg 56.
  6. ^ Smith (1980), pg 464.