130 year milestone for Welsh rugby

It is 130 years ago today, Saturday, 19 February, 2011, that Wales played its first international rugby match.

The game against England at Mr Richardson’s Field, Blackheath, saw Wales concede 13 tries. They eventually lost by 7 goals, 6 tries and 1 drop goal to nil – or 82-0 in modern scoring values.

But what those 15 brave, and largely unknown, Welsh rugby pioneers began was a national love affair with the game of rugby football – continued to this day with players such as Ryan Jones, Dan Lydiate and Sam Warburton carrying on the legacy.

“Today is an important landmark in the history of the national sport of Wales. It has been a remarkable journey down the decades and we should all be proud of the status our game has achieved,” said WRU Group Chief Executive Roger Lewis.

“Countless young Welsh men and women have grown to adulthood cherishing the magic moments created by our national teams. Grass-roots rugby in Wales has emerged as a bedrock of our communities and it remains a powerful influence on Welsh life.

“The Millennium Stadium is not only an iconic building, but also a powerful financial force in the wider Welsh economy. Today we proudly look back at that first game as a starting point in our 130 years of history as we look forward with enthusiasm to what lies ahead.

“There are many 130 year landmarks we will note in the months ahead with a game between Wales and the Barbarians at the Millennium Stadium on 4 June as a highlight.

“But today we can all look back with nostalgia and pride at the day when Welsh rugby began its great journey.”

To learn more about the first Welsh team, the man who brought them together and the early days of rugby football in Wales, keep logging on to www.wru.co.uk

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