William Bowen (rugby player)

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For other people with the same name, see William Bowen (disambiguation).
For the rugby union and rugby league footballer of the 1920s for Wales (RU), Swansea, and Leeds (RL), see Billy Bowen.
William Bowen
Full name William Arnold Bowen
Place of birth Pembroke, Wales
Place of death Swansea, Wales
Rugby union career
Position(s) Forward
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1886–1891 Wales[1] 13 ((0))

William Bowen (1862–26 September 1925) was a Welsh international rugby union player who played club rugby for Swansea and was capped 13 times for Wales. Bowen captained Wales on one occasion.

Rugby career[edit]

Bowen was first selected to play for Wales against England at the Rectory Field, Blackheath in 1886 under the captaincy of Charlie Newman. Although Wales lost the game, the press were generally positive of the Welsh play and pointed out the forwards for their strong play.[2] Bowen was re-selected for the next game of the 1886 Home Nations Championship this time against Scotland at the Cardiff Arms Park.

In 1887 Bowen played in all three games of the 1887 Championship, including the draw with England at Llanelli's cricket ground and the win against Ireland at Birkenhead Park. The Scottish game was not a memorable match for Wales, with the Scottish players running in twelve tries without reply, including five for George Lindsay. Although Bowen missed the 1888 tournament he did play against the touring New Zealand Maoris.

After playing all five games of the 1889 and 1990 Championships, Bowen was given the captaincy against England on 3 January 1891. Wales lost the game, and the captaincy was passed to Llanelli's William H. Thomas, though at the time the captaincy was normally chosen by the players before the match rather than by the selectors.[3] Bowen's last game for Wales was against Scotland at Raeburn Place in another one sided win for the Scottish team.

International matches played[edit]



  • Goodwin, Terry (1984). The International Rugby Championship 1883-1983. London: Willows Books. ISBN 0-00-218060-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. ^ Welsh Rugby Union player profiles
  2. ^ Goodwin (1983), pg 13.
  3. ^ Goodwin (1983), pg 27.
  4. ^ Smith (1980), pg 464.
Sporting positions
Preceded by
William Towers
Swansea RFC Captain
Succeeded by
Charlie Coke