William Dowell

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This article is about the Welsh rugby footballer. For the British admiral, see William Dowell (Royal Navy officer). For the Australian politician from Britain, see William Dowel.
William "Billy" Dowell
William Dowell.jpg
Dowell in Newport jersey
Full name William Henry Dowell[1]
Date of birth (1885-05-21)21 May 1885
Place of birth Pontypool, Monmouthshire
Date of death 9 November 1949(1949-11-09) (aged 64)
Place of death Newport, Monmouthshire
Occupation(s) miner
Rugby league career
Position(s) Back
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
1908 Warrington RLFC ()
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1908 Wales 1 ((0))
Rugby union career
Position(s) Flanker
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Pontnewydd RFC
Newport RFC
Pontypool RFC
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1907-08 Wales[2] 7 ((0))

William "Billy" Dowell (21 May 1885[3] - 9 November 1949[4]) was a Welsh dual-code international rugby union and rugby league footballer who played rugby union for Newport and Pontypool and rugby league with Warrington RLFC (Heritage № 151). He won seven caps for the Wales rugby union team and after switching to league, played one match for the Wales league squad.

Rugby career[edit]

Dowell first played for Newport in 1905 and was part of the team that faced two touring sides; the 1905 Original All Blacks and the 1906 South Africans.

Dowell was first capped for Wales on 12 January 1907 when he played against England at St. Helens under the captaincy of Dicky Owen. It was a good victory for Wales, winning 22-0 and Dowell was back the very next two matches of the 1907 Home Nations Championship. Dowell was also part of the Wales Triple Crown winning team when he played in all three games of the 1908 Championship, including a winning match against France in the same year. His final four union international games were with Pontypool after he left Newport in 1908. Dowell may have been selected the next season but 'Went North', joining rugby league team Warrington and therefore making himself ineligible to play further union games. He later played one league international for Wales making him a dual code international.

Dowell played Left-Prop, i.e. number 8, in Warrington's 10-3 victory over Australia in the 1908–09 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain tour match during the 1908–09 season at Wilderspool Stadium, Warrington, Saturday 14 November 1908, in front of a crowd of 5,000, due to the strikes in the cotton mills, the attendance was badly affected, the loss of earnings meant that some fans could not afford to watch the first tour by the Australian rugby league team.[5]

International matches played[edit]

Wales (union)[6]

Wales (league)


  • 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
  2. ^ Welsh Rugby Union player profiles
  3. ^ "Birth details at freebmd.org.uk". freebmd.org.uk. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  4. ^ "Death details at freebmd.org.uk". freebmd.org.uk. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  5. ^ "100 years since Wire took on the Aussies for the first time". warringtonwolves.com. 31 December 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2016. 
  6. ^ Smith (1980), pg 465.

External links[edit]