Our History

In the sixties and seventies there was a monthly rugby magazine in Wales called “WELSH RUGBY”, in the August edition of 1973 an article appeared entitled;


Trinant Rugby Football Club By FRED CROSTER

This is the article that appeared.

High in the hills of West Monmouthshire, enjoying scenery and views of the valleys which could well remind visitors of some of the most glamorous places in the world, is the small and in itself extremely attractive village of Trinant. You may never have heard of it. Rugby people in that part of the world certainly have, and far beyond. To reach it, turn off at Crumlin and just keep on going up. At the top, when the vista takes your breath away, you suddenly come upon this unique habitat of unique people. Don't misunderstand me. The place and the people are only unique because everything seems to revolve around that superb clubhouse and amenities, and it all belongs to them.

Yes, the whole 20-acres-plus and all that goes with it. Not the three brooks, running from the bridge of Monmouth which symbolises their attractive badge but with the enterprise they have even that, one day, wouldn't surprise me.

We talk of social centres. When I went there it was on a Monday evening and quite late. The village, one street and a pub ten years ago, has grown considerably but I only had to ask the first person I met, to be directed there with some amazement at the fact that I didn't already know where it was.


The spacious car park was nearly full, the palatial clubhouse was full. How many? I don't know but several hundreds could be an under-estimation.

"What is on? Something special?" "No boy. Just the usual Monday evening dance and cabaret".

The committee room seemed full, they were counting cash but that didn't take too long and I was soon at home. "A club like Trinant must have characters", I thought. I was right. There were plenty of them but none more so than Albert Clayton, a spritly 55 who had played, captained, been chairman for many years, is a vice-president, has done the lot, and there were Claytons galore in the club. Even the present skipper is one of the clan. Albert proved the ready, witty fount of information; Terry Exall, the former player, and present secretary Lyn Lloyd, all added their quota.

There was a Trinant R.F.C. way back in the early 1900'S. Not a lot is remembered of those days but Albert Clayton could go back himself in fresh memory for the past 40 years. Names of the past include Tom Sawyers, who was killed in the war; Roy Waybourne, the first of that remarkable family which produced Jack, Reg and Phil. Roy is a vice president now; Llew Jones and Bert Beckett. They played on the Pentwyn Field, had their H.Q. in the Pentwyn Inn and enjoyed good rugby football.

It was after the war that they really got going. On the same field but they lost the pub as their H.Q. They had no togs, scrounged clothing coupons, got enough and were away. But! Remember they are unique? No changing rooms, no accommodation at alI, so what did they do? The officials and players used their own homes. The normal pattern was for each player to take home his opposite number of the visiting team, to change, then bath and then feed. That's the sort of community spirit which exists in this unique place. The accommodation is now beyond compare but the spirit prevails.


The first captain was J. Holyfield, the secretary R. G. Morgans, Albert Clayton was there, of course, and here again is something for less enterprising clubs to ponder on. They heard of a Nissen Hut, way down the valIey, going for sale, cheap. They bought it, brought it back, laid foundations, erected it and did they use it. For changing, eating, Whist Drives, Bingo, the Tote, anything worthwhile for the club.

There was a ladies section immediately formed. They wanted to be in from the start and have been stalwarts ever since. That first ladies committee was: Pauline Smith, Harriet Williams, Mrs. Bert Beckett, Jacqueline Hardacre and Eileen Thomas, the mother of Ralph, former player and now coach to Tredegar, was their secretary.

It was at the time of "The Hut" that their most famous product had his first game for the club. Haydn Morgan was only a youngster but showed all the promise that was to bring him, Trinant, Abertillery and Wales' fame. He was selected to play against Newport Saracens.

He was wanted by the B.B.C. to be interviewed on T.V. At half time it meant that he had to leave. The side were 10 points up; they let him go. When the match ended, all went to the nearby Workmen's Club to see the programme and great was their delight when they saw "Haydn" make sure that all watching knew where he had been playing and whom against.

The club progressed but it was not easy. They had little help from outside bodies and Albert Clayton was moved to make that classical statement: "There was never a blade of grass to kick over without fear of prosecution".

Yes! They did have pitch difficulties. So much so that after just a few eventful years, with Albert, then G. Jones as enthusiastic captains, they had to cease activities. This was a blow but, as does happen when the right men are there, out of adversity does come salvation. This was the case with Trinant Sports Club R.F.C. to give the full title.

"The Hut", through their efforts, had made £600 cash. With the field taken they had to play all their games- away at Crumlin, then they got to hear of a small-holding, right in an ideal position being put up for sale by the council for £1,200. It consisted of a house and 6/7 acres. They had half. Mr. Hughes, Barclays Bank manager in Newbridge, said: "find guarantors". Albert, Dr.

Edwards and Howell Jenkins were three who came forward. There might have been one other.

"Can you cover the amount?"


"Where is it?"

"In the Post Office".

"Put it in the Bank and we'll talk".

This was all that they wanted.


The house and ground was bought. The house sold for £600, they amalgamated with the Workmen's Club to form the Trinant Sports and Social Club, the ground was levelled and the seeds were well and truly sown, in more ways than one.

They have never looked back since. In fact, they continue to look ahead and have since bought another two smallholdings to make their assets 26/27 acres - that's the total area of the Cardiff Arms Park and environments for comparison and the plans are ambitious indeed. Yes! This is a unique place!

In 1962 the present clubhouse was opened and what a place it is. Simply splendid down to the last detail with every amenity possible and the changing rooms and No. I pitch just one of their car parks away. Go there some time and enjoy it as I, the writer, did.

Back to the rugby. Haydn Morgan, of course, outstanding. Now settled for several years in Springs, near Johannesburg, as a successful motor trader, he still comes home and played in the Past v Present game just a couple of years ago. When he was selected for the Lions' Tour to New Zealand he took a Trinant R.F.C. badge to present to the first team to beat them. This was Otago and they proudly reciprocated by sending their flag back in return.

Other players of note: Don Wilkins, John Jenkins (who holds the points scored record), Lionel Beckett, Mike Rees, Dickie Todd, Phil Lloyd, most of whom went to Cross Keys, Abertillery or Newbridge. Perhaps it would be invidious to mention more. The club has been, and still is, full of talent but most of it stays today.

They have had few top officials. Not needed many. They all work together. Chairmen have been: Albert Clayton, John Beckett, Jack Watkins and now Lyn Lloyd. Secretaries: Roy Morgan and now Terry Exall, former player of course, aren't they all. Terry is a Mon. County R.U. contender. Treasurers have only been G. Jones who did so much in the beginning, Howell Jenkins and the duty is now combined with that of secretary.

Captains through the years have been, since the reformation: J. Smith, H. Davies, D. Davies, J. Beckett, J. Watkins, in a very good year when they won 22 of the 30 games played and all games on the Easter tour; then Lionel Beckett, with two captains, Mike Rees and M. Hopkins, the following season. That was when they played Newbridge, in their Welsh Championship year, and held them to a most honourable 5-6 narrow loss. That was a day to remember.

Mike Rees, what a great servant he has been - now in his eighteenth year as a player and going as strong as ever-became captain again, then Lionel Beckett, another remarkable clubman, with J. Watkins as chairman. He was followed by R. Weaver and the season this year started off on a good note when they met Abertillery who had all their stars out Alun Pask, Haydn Morgan and Allan Lewis, and were given a mighty tussle before they won.

1967/68 was the year when Haydn came back home to play in the Past v Present match and again stamp his grand personality on the occasion. He scored the winning try. The Clayton family came back into the reigns that year with G. Clayton as an inspiring skipper. They had a good year, notable for their victory in the Monmouthshire Junior Union Seven-a-Side Tournament which is always so keenly contested. The winning must go down as a major achievement. To reach this goal they beat Cwm, Aberbeeg, Pontllanfraith, then Nantyglo in the final. It was a close thing - 6-3. Chairman Lyn Lloyd, skipper Mike Rees -and his team - Ron Davies, John Jenkins, Don Wilkins, Martin Clayton, Jim Leadbeater and Jeff Walker, held their heads justifiably high.

Mike Rees continued to lead the next year with Lyn again chairman and, of course, Terry Exall as secretary. This was another good year with only six of the 29 matches lost and 373 points scored. Of these there were 76 tries, 21 penalties, 35 conversions and four drop goals. To this total John Jenkins contributed 141 points and Don Wilkins gained 17 tries. The average for each match was 12.9 points. Yes, they keep statistics. Then came another highlight in 1970/71 with Mike Clayton as captain and Lyn Lloyd again chairman. On 22nd April they met Blackwood Stars in the final of the Cyrus Davies Cup and were worthy winners by 8 points to nil. That was something to celebrate and celebrate they certainly did. The whole village was "En Fete". Mike's team must be noted. It was K. Davies, H. Lloyd, D. Wilkins, M. Clayton (capt.), P. Easley, John Jenkins, B. O'Riley, G. Clayton, L. Nash, H. Rees, G. Pritchard, J. Leadbeater, D. Woodward, M. Rees and J. Carpenter. They cannot enter now as W.R.U. members.

For the past two seasons G. Clayton has been a grand captain with John Jenkins then M. Clayton as deputies. Lyn Lloyd is still a youthful chairman, Jack Watkins vice-chairman, with Ralph Thomas succeeding John Jenkins as club coach.

In I970 they went to Torquay to take part in their invitation Sevens Tournament to beat Old Cranleighans and University College on the way to the final to then go down to a powerful Solihull seven. They were also finalists but not the winners of the Monmouthshire competition when Nantyglo had their revenge to beat them I3-11 in a tremendous final.

What is there ahead for this so enterprising club? They have achieved one ambition by being accepted into the Welsh Rugby Union. Still on probation but no worries on that score, surely.

Whom do they owe it all to? Many names have been mentioned. There are some others. Arthur England when the ground was being negotiated and "change of usage" was a term to understand; Russell Weaver, ex-captain and the local farmer. What a helper. They do everything themselves at Trinant. Ken Braddock who started with them as a local lad before Newbridge, Wales and, of course, the Police - now in Staffordshire - claimed him. Both he and Haydn played for Trinant when they had been picked to play for Wales; Geoff and Glyn Catley are others who reached the heights.

Then there are the families. Brothers who played in the same side at the same time: Ken, Joe and Jack Morrissey; "Digger", Ian, Jim and Ken Smith; Alec, Derek and Granville Pritchard (Gran., in the Welsh Guards, has been in their Army Cup winning side); the Claytons naturally. All of them. All the Rees', Jim, Mike, Haydn and Derek. Then the Hopkins', Terry, Pat and Mike. There may be even more. If so, forgive the omission.

The community here, high in the hills, is an essential part of the club. They run two teams. Skipper of the 2nds this year was P. Easley. They were all overjoyed when Shane Wallace gained his under-I5's soccer cap for Wales; he is one of them. Yes, they are a grand bunch.

I asked about finance. "We work hard to get what we need". To know the present officials a fixture card was wanted. Consternation briefly. If any of those present did not have one on him there was a 10p fine for the fund. They do anything for the cause.

The clubhouse programme is a full one. Something on every night of the week and always a packed house. It is worth going. No wonder Albert, Terry, Lyn and all the happy band are proud of what has been achieved and are so confident of the future.

OFFICERS, 1972-73

President - B. Holyfield.

Chairman - L. Lloyd.

Vice-Chairman - J. Watkins.

Secretary - T. Exall.

Asst. Secretary - P. Easley.

Committee Members - G. Lewis, L. Beckett, H. Rees,

D. Davies, G. Haines, J. Beckett, D. Rees, N. Lawrence,

M. Smith and G. Clayton.

Club Captain, 1st Team - G. Clayton.

Club Captain, 2nd Team - P. Easley.

Club Coach - Ralph Thomas.

Trainer and Ambulance Man - K. Johns.



Over the years the club has been proud of its family connections from the brothers Roy, Jack, Reg & Phil Waybourne in the early years to Alan & Paul Jones who not only have played together this season as a set of brothers but have also taken to the field along with their sons Lee & Ryan. This feat is not uncommon in Trinant where over the years Father and Son who have taken the field together are : Phil Easley Snr & Jnr, John & Phil Jones, Robert & Scott Rees, Martin & Darren Smith & Gavin Rogers along with his two sons Adam & Dean.

From 1976 for 19 years a Youth side was run which proved to be very successful in producing players for the senior team, over thirty of these boys were able to have sufficient enough talent to represent the district region in which we played. One of our boy’s, Phil Easley Jnr. also went on to win a Welsh Youth Cap.

Paul Jones, Peter Thomas and Alan Watkins were players who represented the Monmouthshire Union whilst playing for Trinant.






After the second world war and up to league rugby in Wales, there was a system that consisted of the top 16 then 18 clubs. It was these clubs that provided the International players and played or combined with another club, to play against the major touring nations. The following are players who moved from Trinant to the then first class clubs of Welsh rugby.

                             Lionel Beckett            Newbridge                        

                             Phil Easley Jnr.           Ebbw Vale       

                             John Jenkins              Cross Keys                          

                            John Jones                  Cross Keys & Newbridge     

                            Paul Jones                   Cross Keys                              

                           Hadyn Morgan            Abertillery                       

                          Nicky Parfitt                   Newbridge

                          Robert Rees                   Ebbw Vale

                         Carl Thomas                   Ebbw Vale & Cross Keys

                         Peter Thomas                 Cross Keys, Pontypool & Newbridge

                         Ralph Thomas                Tredegar

                         Alan Watkins                 Cross Keys & Abertillery

                         Don Wilkins                    Abertillery

The Cup Competition in the Monmouthshire District Junior Rugby Union in which we played, before gaining Welsh Rugby Union status, was the Cyrus Davies Cup and in 1971 we were successful in being the winners of this competition, the team and scorers that day in the final was :-

Full Back Keith Davies, Three-quarters Haydn Lyons, Don Wilkins (Try), Martin Clayton (Capt.), Phil Easley,

Half Backs, John Jenkins (Pen. & Con) & Bernard O’Riley, Back Row, Don Woodward, Michael Rees & John Carpenter.

Second Row, Chris Pritchard & Jim leadbeater, Front Row, Graham Clayton, Lyndon Nash & Haydn Rees.

Subs:- Michael Williams & Des Watkins.

The games played to win this cup were :-

28 September 1970 Beaufort (Away) Won 15 - 6

12 December 1970 Aberbeeg (Home) Won 11 - 3

Semi Final

20 February 1971 Pontllanfraith (Home) Drew 6 - 6

Replay Pontllanfraith (Away) Won 10 - 6

Final Blackwood Stars Won 8 - 0