Lewis Jones (rugby)

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Lewis Jones
Personal information
Full name Benjamin Lewis Jones
Born (1931-04-11) 11 April 1931 (age 85)
Gorseinon, Glamorgan, Wales, UK
Playing information
Rugby union
Position fullback, centre, wing
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
Llanelli
Neath
Total 0 0 0 0 0
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1950–52 Wales 10 0 9 6 0
1950 British & Irish Lions 3 1 4 4 1
Rugby league
Position Utility back
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1952–64 Leeds 3372
Wentworthville
Total 0 0 0 0 3372
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1957 Rest of the World 1 0 0 0 0
1953 Wales 1 0 5 0 10
1954–57 Great Britain 15 5 66 0 150

Benjamin Lewis Jones (born 11 April 1931 in Gorseinon, Glamorgan)[1] is a Welsh former rugby union and rugby league footballer of the mid-20th century, a dual-code rugby international. He won nine caps for Wales at fullback, centre and wing before turning professional and playing rugby league for Leeds and Great Britain. Rugby league historian Robert Gate has described Lewis Jones as 'arguably the most devastating attacking back Wales has ever produced'. His acceleration over the first few yards was stunning, allowing him to penetrate almost any defence and enabling him in the mid-1950s to become the greatest star in the game.

Background[edit]

Born Saturday, 11 April 1931 in Gorseinon, Glamorgan,[2] Lewis Jones was educated at Gowerton Grammar School and played club rugby for Neath before undertaking his national service in the Navy. After leaving the Navy he joined Llanelli. He won his first cap for Wales against England in 1950. This was a match Jones might easily have missed, as he had been about to depart for Hong Kong on board an aircraft carrier until the orders were countermanded on discovering that he was a rugby player. The same year he played for the British Lions, being flown out as a replacement for an injured player on the tour to New Zealand and Australia and playing in three test matches. He scored 63 points in seven games in New Zealand and 16 points against Australia in Brisbane.

Professional playing career[edit]

In November 1952 Jones signed for Leeds rugby league club for a record £6,000 (based on increases in average earnings, this would be approximately £382,000 in 2009).[3] A broken arm prevented him having much impact in his first season but in the 1953-54 season he scored 302 points and he first represented Wales in 1953 against France. Jones toured Australasia in 1954. In 1956–57 he scored a record 496 points. He also set the record for most points in a test series in 1956–57. He played in the 1957 World Cup.

In the 1960-61 season he played a great part in Leeds' first Championship.

Lewis Jones played Stand-off/Five-eighth, and scored 3-conversions in Leeds' 9-19 defeat by Wakefield Trinity in the 1961 Yorkshire Cup final during the 1961–62 season at Odsal Stadium, Bradford on Saturday 11 November 1961.

After the 1953 game against France, Wales did not play another officially recognised international match until 1968; but during this period a representative Wales team played in two games against France. The second of these games saw Jones given the captaincy, leading the Wales team out at Toulouse on 17 February 1963. Despite playing twice for his country, he was only capped for the first match.

Lewis also represented Great Britain while at Leeds between 1952 and 1956 against France (2 non-Test matches).[4] Lewis Jones represented the Rest of the World in the 11-20 defeat by Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground on 29 June 1957.

Jones' Testimonial match at Leeds took place in 1963. He was the first Leeds player to score over 1,000 goals for the club, a feat not matched until 2009 Kevin Sinfield. Jones became one of fewer than ten Welshmen to have scored more than 2,000 points in their rugby league career.[5]

Jones won 15 caps for Great Britain at rugby league, scoring in every game he played. He spent six years as a player-coach in Australia. A schoolteacher by profession, he later taught mathematics in Leeds.

Post playing[edit]

Arriva Yorkshire honoured thirteen rugby league footballers on Thursday 20 August 2009, at a ceremony at the Jungle, the home of Castleford. A fleet of new buses were named after the 'Arriva Yorkshire Rugby League Dream Team', which included Jones. Members of the public nominated the best ever rugby league footballers to have played in West Yorkshire, supported by local rugby league journalists; James Deighton from BBC Leeds, and Tim Butcher, editor of Rugby League World.[6]

In 2013 Jones, along with three other former players, was inducted into the Rugby League Hall of Fame.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lewis Jones rugby union player profile Scrum.com
  2. ^ "Lewis Jones". rugbyleagueproject.org. Shawn Dollin, Andrew Ferguson and Bill Bates. Retrieved 5 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "Measuring Worth – Relative Value of UK Pounds". Measuring Worth. 23 April 2003. Retrieved 3 October 2008. 
  4. ^ Edgar, Harry (2007). Rugby League Journal Annual 2008 Page-110. Rugby League Journal Publishing. ISBN 0-9548355-3-0
  5. ^ Robert Gate (1988). "Gone North – Volume 2". R. E. Gate. ISBN 0-9511190-3-6
  6. ^ "Arriva Yorkshire Rugby League Dream Team". Arriva Yorkshire. 20 August 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2009. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Gareth Hughes (1983). One hundred years of Scarlet. Llanelli Rugby Football Club. ISBN 0-9509159-0-4. 

External links[edit]

Achievements
Preceded by
Joe Egan
Rugby league transfer record
Llanelli to Leeds

1952–57
Succeeded by
Mick Sullivan