Codebreakers

READ – Codebreakers – it’s not the end

There have been over 100 players who have played senior internationals for Wales in both rugby union and rugby league.

First, we have the 95 men’s players who have heritage numbers for Wales in both rugby union and rugby league. That’s those who have won a full cap for both countries.

Then we have four men’s international players who were awarded rugby union caps posthumously. Elwyn Gwyther, Glyn Turner, Brian Butler and Stuart Ferguson. Gwyther faced France in 1945 with the others taking on Argentina in 1968. Wales’ opposition considered the games full test matches whilst at the time, the WRU didn’t. This was corrected in 2013 when their caps, known as “President’s Caps” were awarded, done so not to cause a knock-on effect in the history books and alter their heritage numbers.

Also, we have had four women who have played in a full international for Wales in rugby union and rugby league. Rafiuke Taylor lined up for Wales Women against England Lions in Wales’  historic 24-20 win. However she only became officially a dual-code international in 2021, when she and Ffion Lewis played for Wales against England in the first official Wales test match.

In addition, in 2021, James Jones became Welsh rugby (and potentially world rugby’s) first ever referee codebreaker. He took charge of four international rugby union matches between 2007 and 2010 before transferring to rugby league in 2013. The first full rugby league test match he refereed was the men’s European Championship B game between Ukraine and Russia in Belgrade, Serbia.

We also have another football codebreaker – David Davies from Llanelli who left the Scarlets for Swinton in 1899. He also turned out for Salford before switching codes and played in goal for Bolton Wanderers and won three Welsh caps. He then returned to the oval ball game and won a Welsh cap in our code making him the only footballer to play for Wales at both international association football, and international rugby league and is also the only person to have appeared in both the FA Cup Final and the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final.

And as a postscript, we have those who have played British baseball and rugby league for Wales. The legendary Jim Sullivan went north to Wigan without winning a Welsh rugby union cap. However he did play for Wales in British baseball after starting out with Splott YMCA. In 1921, while still aged 17, he faced England in Liverpool and clubbed 18 American-style runs. The lesser known D Ralph Morgan also played both baseball and rugby league for Wales, whilst Dai Bishop played for Wales in union, league and baseball. Jonathan Griffiths also played cricket for Wales but those games weren’t recognised as full internationals.

THE WELSH RUGBY DUAL CODE INTERNATIONALS – CLICK ON THE NUMBERS BELOW TO SEE MORE ON EACH PLAYER

DC#NAMEDATE OF BIRTHBIRTHPLACERU DEBUTWRU #
1Dai Jones1881-05-16Tynewydd1902182
2Billy O’Neill1878-06-05Cardiff1904196
3Billy Dowell1885-05-21Pontypool1907217
4Jake Blackmore1883-05-15Bedwellty1909230
5Ben Gronow1887-03-10Bridgend1910234
6Ernie Jenkins1880-09-20Upper Cwmbran1910238
7Joe Pugsley1885-05-10Swansea1910237
8William Evans1883-03-23Nantyglo1911246
9Percy Coldrick1888-11-01Caerleon1911243
10Gus Merry1887-11-24Newport1912261
11Willie Davies1890-12-27Aberavon1912253
12Rees Richards1886-04-15Cwmafan1913277
13Bryn Williams1895-04-03Llanelli1920309
14Bobby Lloyd1888-07-12Crickhowell1913276
15Frankie Evans1897-04-03Dafen1921322
16George Oliver1891-04-03Pontypool1920305
17Edgar Morgan1896-05-17Llanelli1920312
18Jerry Shea1892-08-12Newport1919297
19Wilf Hodder1896-05-06Abersychan1921315
20Dai Edwards1896-03-21Glynneath1921314
21Joe Thompson1902-12-22Hambrook1923345
22Johnny Ring1900-11-13Port Talbot1921318
23Ambrose Baker1897-07-07Swansea1921327
24Mel Rosser1901-04-18Machen1924368
25Joseph Jones1899-03-15Pontardawe1924376
26Ike Fowler1894-08-27Pantyffynnon1919288
27Brinley Phillips1900-10-11Merthyr Tydfil1925384
28Jack Gore1899-06-16Blaina1924370
29David Jenkins1901-05-22Pyle1926425
30Emlyn Watkins1904-09-21Blaina1926407
31Eddie Williams1898-10-14Cwmllynfell1924380
32Arthur Evans1903-11-03Abersychan1924357
33Billy Williams1905-12-29Crumlin1927414
34Gwynne Davies1908-06-23Aberkenfig1928431
35Ocker Thomas1907-03-08Merthyr Tydfil1930445
36Norman Fender1910-09-02Cardiff1930450
37Jack Morley1909-07-28Newport1929435
38Dicky Ralph1908-01-21Abercarn1931458
39Iorrie Isaacs1910-10-04Cilfynydd1933461
40Gomer Hughes1910-05-13Neath1934477
41Lou Rees1910-01-07Treherbert1933471
42Harold Jones1907-12-22Ogmore Vale1929433
43Tommy Scourfield1909-02-26Pontypridd1930454
44Hubert Day1908-05-08Griffithstown1930447
45Con Murphy1908-09-03Aberfan1935491
46Dai Prosser1912-10-13Neath1934488
47Harold Thomas1914-02-19Neath1936501
48Arthur Bassett1914-06-28Kenfig Hill1934490
49Willie TH Davies1916-08-23Penclawdd1936503
50Syd Williams1918-04-17Aberavon1939521
51Eddie Watkins1916-03-02Caerphilly1935498
52Idwal Davies1915-11-10Llanelli1939518
53Emrys Evans1911-04-24Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen1937505
54Elwyn Gwyther1921-03-08Swansea1945
55George Parsons1926-04-21Newbridge1946537
56Les Williams1922-05-10Mynydd Y Garreg1946542
57Terry Cook1927-06-27Bedwas1949561
58Ray Cale1922-07-18Usk1949557
59Lewis Jones1931-04-11Gorseinon1950569
60Garfield Owen1932-03-20Llanharan1955605
61Kel Coslett1942-01-14Bynea1962667
62Colin Evans1936-11-20Blaenavon1960645
63Terry Price1945-07-16Hendy1964695
64David Watkins1942-03-05Newport1963681
65John Warlow1939-02-13Dafen1962676
66Bobby Wanbon1943-11-16Port Talbot1968723
67John Mantle1942-03-13Cardiff1964690
68Maurice Richards1945-02-02Ystrad1964727
69Keith Jarrett1948-05-18Newport1967714
70Stuart Ferguson1946-07-19Swansea1968
71Roy Mathias1949-09-02Llanelli1970739
72John Bevan1950-10-28Tylorstown1971741
73Stuart Gallacher1946-05-22Llanelli1970737
74Glyn Turner1947-03-22Nantyglo1968
75Brian Butler1948-02-16Felinfoel1968
76Glyn Shaw1951-04-11Rhigos1972745
77Clive Griffiths1954-04-02Loughor1979783
78Steve Fenwick1951-07-23Nantgarw1974762
79Tommy David1948-04-02Pontypridd1971747
80Paul Ringer1948-01-28Leeds1978778
81Brynmor Williams1951-10-29Cardigan1974772
82John Devereux1966-03-30Bridgend1986830
83Allan Bateman1965-03-06Caerau1990873
84Jonathan Davies1962-10-24Trimsaran1985827
85Jonathan Griffiths1964-08-23Carmarthen1987855
86Dai Young1967-07-26Aberdare1987843
87Mark Jones1965-06-22Tredegar1986840
88Rob Ackerman1961-03-02Ebbw Vale1980787
89Paul Moriarty1964-07-16Swansea1986833
90Dai Bishop1960-10-31Cardiff1984819
91Adrian Hadley1963-03-01Cardiff1983812
92Rowland Phillips1965-07-28St David’s1987845
93Gary Pearce1960-11-11Laugharne1981793
94Richard Webster1967-07-09Swansea1987844
95Scott Gibbs1971-01-23Bridgend1991889
96Scott Quinnell1972-08-20Swansea1993911
97Iestyn Harris1976-06-25Oldham2001995
98Anthony Sullivan1968-11-23Hull2001996
99Gareth Thomas1974-07-25Bridgend1995924
100Rafiuke Taylor1978-06-23Cardiff2013
101Ffion Lewis1996-06-29Haverfordwest2018
102Rhi Parker1989-08-18Liss2017
103Bethan Dainton1989-04-12Hengoed2016

Quick Links – Men’s Heritage NumbersMen’s A-Z

REPRESENTED WALES AS A RUGBY UNION AND RUGBY LEAGUE REFEREE  RU DEBUT
James Jones 17/05/1978 Swansea  2007
PLAYED FOR WALES RL AND ASSOCIATION FOOTBALL  AF DEBUT  FAW#
David Davies 12/05/1880 Llanelli  1904  223
PLAYED FOR WALES RL AND BRITISH BASEBALL  BB DEBUT
Jim Sullivan 02/12/1903 Cardiff  1921
D Ralph Morgan 15/01/1910 Newport  1946
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