Rugby

Two-time Grand Slam Wales captain dies

2016-12-22 21:32
RIP (File)

London - John Gwilliam who captained Wales to two Five Nations Grand Slams in 1950 and 1952 has died aged 93 it was announced on Thursday.

The robust No 8 -- who in 1953 was also part of the last Welsh team to beat New Zealand -- was capped 23 times from 1947-54.

His 1950 Grand Slam winning side -- they sealed it with a 21-0 whipping of France in Cardiff -- was the first Welsh team to achieve that feat in 39 years.

A devout Christian he earned a reputation later in life for being a disciplinarian head master, and he was no longer skipper when Wales overcame the All Blacks 13-8, Bleddyn Williams having taken over that role.

A Cambridge graduate he took a break in his studies to serve as a tank commander in World War II and on one occasion towards the end of hostilities was seen dragging a diminutive German soldier along by his neck.

When it was put to him it would have been easier to shoot him he replied "Oh no sir. Much too small".

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