Former Wales captain and coach Clive Rowlands dies at the age of 85 | Rugby Union News


Former Wales captain and coach Clive ‘Top Cat’ Rowlands has died at the age of 85; he captained, coached and managed Wales, was also manager of the British & Irish Lions and became president of the WRU after serving on the General Committee for many years

Last Updated: 30/07/23 11:52am

Clive Rowlands managed the Lions to victory on their tour of Australia in 1989

Clive Rowlands managed the Lions to victory on their tour of Australia in 1989

Former Wales captain and coach Clive Rowlands has died at the age of 85, the
Welsh Rugby Union has announced.

Rowlands, who played 14 times for Wales as scrum-half, also managed the British and Irish Lions and served as president of the WRU.

He captained his country on each of his international appearances and led the team as they shared the 1964 Five Nations title with Scotland.

As coach, he guided the team to a first Grand Slam in 19 years in 1971, having retired from playing at the age of 29.

Rowlands managed the Wales team to third place at the inaugural World Cup in 1987, still their most successful tournament, and mastermind victory for the Lions on their tour of Australia two years later.

He became president of the Welsh Rugby Union in 1989 and was added to the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame ‘Roll of Honour’ in 2013. A schoolteacher in his early life, Rowlands battled against bowel cancer in the 1990s.

A statement from the WRU said: “The Welsh Rugby Union sends the most sincere condolences from everyone connected with the game in Wales to Clive’s family and friends and thanks him for his immense contribution to our game.”

Wales defence coach Mike Forshaw, who is with the side in Turkey for their pre-World Cup training camp, said on Sunday: “We heard that in the last hour or so. From all the players and staff, we want to send our condolences to the family.

“He was a great rugby man and he’s been in our thoughts this morning in Turkey.”