Dai Jones - Second rowWales RL
|Date Of Birth||16/05/1881|
|Place Of Birth||Treherbert|
|Clubs||Merthyr Tydfil, Treherbert, Aberdare, Tredegar, Aberaman, Glamorgan Police|
|Honours||Great Britain, Wales RL, Wales|
David "Tarw" Jones was Wales' first ever dual code international, at least to play for both Wales sides, and twice made history against the New Zealand All Blacks. The first was on December 16 1905 when he starred for the WRU Wales side as they famously beat them 3-0 in Cardiff, and the second a little over two years' later, on January 1 1908 when he scored the winning try in the world's first ever rugby league international match, Wales beating the professional All Blacks, who were sometimes known as the "All Golds" 9-8 in Aberdare. Born in 1881, he played his first RU international at the age of 20 in 1901 against England after impressing during a trial at Treherbert and he would represent them on another 12 occasions being part of a very successful Welsh team who won two Triple Crowns.
A payment scandal caused him and a number of other players to turn legitimately professional. Dai was thought to have returned to Treherbert after his weekly payment from Aberdare was cut from 10 to 5 shillings. At that time, rugby union players were meant to have all been amateur. In 1907, after an investigation from the Welsh Football Union, Jones was banned from playing rugby union for life, just at the time that the Merthyr Tydfil professional "Northern Union" team was starting. Following his winning try against New Zealand on January 1 1908, he played in the first ever Great Britain match a few weeks later on January 25, which was against New Zealand at Headingley, and was the only player selected from a Welsh club. GB won 14-6 and he played in the second test at Stamford Bridge in London, which GB lost. His fourth and final professional international match came a few months later when he represented Wales in the 35-18 win over England in Tonypandy. He was 30 years old when Merthyr Tydfil were wound up so that ended his rugby career.
Dai gained his nickname Tarw (Welsh for "bull") from his imposing stature; standing at 6’1’’ and weighing almost 16 stone. A collier from Aberaman who later became a policeman before becoming a collier once more, he later ran two pubs - the Eagle Hotel in Aberdare, and the Castle Hotel in Treherbert. He would later fight in World War I as a member of the Welsh Guards but was wounded badly at the Battle of the Somme, leaving injuries that affected his health throughout the rest of his life. On January 21 1933, David Jones died in Aberdare, South Wales.