Welsh Rugby Legend, Johnathon Davies, is in the Territory for a few days as a guest of the BVI Rugby Union and took time out on Thursday to assist Coach Sam “Solo” Solomon as he prepares the U19 team for a Tournament to be held in Trinidad later this summer.
Jonathan Davies is a retired dual-code rugby player, who represented Wales in both rugby union and rugby league . A goal-kicking backline player, he played his club rugby in Wales, England and Australia. Davies has since become a television rugby football commentator and media personality, in both the Welsh and English languages.
“I’m having a great time here. It’s my first visit, the hospitality is amazing, it’s a beautiful country and I’m enjoying seeing a lot of it. To see the young kids playing what is an alien game to them, to see them enjoying playing and especially the contact. Mention tackling and the reaction is incredible, they all love it! All I tried to do today was pass on some basics, tackle, get your head in the right position, take a pass and give a pass at the right time and just enjoy it.”
Coach “Solo” was happy for the help from such a great player and is also full of confidence ahead of the trip to Trinidad “Davies spent about an hour with the guys passing on some basic skills and made some very important points which the boys all appreciated and learnt from. We can practice all we want, but time has to come when we need to see how we can do against other Islands. Many of the team will be making a competitive debut at a higher level, but we have got them up ready mentally and physically for the challenge and they are all looking forward to it”
Age 17, Davies left school and became an apprentice painter and decorator. After developing at Trimsaran RFC, he was given a trial with Llanelli but was rejected. Neath gave him another chance and he signed with them in 1982, selected to play at fly-half. After 35 games for Neath he was selected to play for Wales, against England at the Cardiff Arms Park. After scoring a try and a drop goal, Davies was named Man of the Match in the Welsh victory.
Jonathan was made captain at Neath before being transferred to Llanelli. In 1988 he played a very important part in the Triple Crown success for Wales and between 1985 and 1997 he won 37 rugby union caps.
Disagreeing with a lack of discipline within Welsh Rugby and getting frustrated with his views on the state of the game being ignored Davies controversially decided for the best interests of his family to move to the rugby league team Widnes, who signed him for a record fee of £230,000.
Davies started in Rugby League with much anticipation, and took time to adjust to the differing sport and its rules. As he learned the game and tried to bulk up, during the 1989–90 Rugby Football League season, he played for defending champions Widnes at centre in their 1989 World Club Challenge victory against the visiting Canberra Raiders. In 1991 he took on a further challenge when he spent the summer in Sydney playing for the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
After Widnes got into financial difficulties, in 1993 he moved to their local rivals Warrington. During his time in rugby league he represented both Great Britain and Wales, memorably scoring the lone try in Great Britain's last defeat of the Kangaroos at the old Wembley in 1994. He was also named player of the 1993-94 season, winning the RFL's Man of Steel Award.
Davies' final rugby league match was as captain of Wales against England in the 1995 World Cup Semi-final at Old Trafford, which Wales lost 25-10. Playing at Five-eighth, Davies kicked 3 goals for Wales taking his total score for Wales to 21 points (10 goals, 1 field goal), all scored in the 1995 World Cup.