Our History

Trinant RFC History


The season of 2006-07 Trinant R.F.C. will be celebrating the fact that for the past 50 years it has run continuously, although prior to 1956 there had been rugby played in the village but records of such games is hard to substantiate. After the second world war the club ran for a period of 3 seasons between 1945 and 1948 and were captained by Jack Holyfield, Albert Clayton & Grenville Jones. One of the oldest residents in the village Mr Trevor Friend born 1909 and now aged 97 can remember as a boy of about 8 or 9 watching a game of rugby in the village when one of the players called “Knocker Rowley” father of a “Harry Rowley”, collapsed and died whilst playing. This eyewitness account shows that rugby was being played in the village of Trinant just after the First World War and there have also been claims by other elder residents, that their fathers played rugby for Trinant before the First World War. It is such a shame that these claims cannot be corroborated with photographs, minutes or early press cuttings, if they could, we could well be celebrating our Centenary rather than a half Century.

In the first few months of 1956 new resident of Trinant Ray Morgan was approached by Albert Clayton who informed him that a committee had been formed for the purpose of reforming Trinant Rugby Football Club and requested him to accept the position of Secretary. Having only recently become the proud father of Nigel John he accepted with some trepidation.

He was then informed that they did not have, A dressing room for the players to change in, there was no kit in which they could play in and that there was no money so that these little matters could be put right.

At the first Committee Meeting of the newly formed Trinant Rugby Club it was decided to ask the lady supporters of the Club to form a Ladies Committee and to work as hard as they could to obtain as much money as possible to enable them to buy jerseys, stockings and shorts which they eventually did.

Mrs. Eileen Thomas was elected as their Secretary and she promised to do all she could to promote her Committee for the benefit of the Trinant Rugby Club.

During the initial months of the Club, frantic efforts were made to arrange match fixtures for the forthcoming season and Ray sent out 75 letters which resulted in 31 fixtures being arranged, the first game which was played was away to Hafodyrynys in early September 1956. The Club had applied to become a member of the Monmouthshire Junior Rugby Union who were also affiliated to the Welsh Rugby Union. This enabled them to arrange quite a variety of fixtures from all over Wales.

Colours of the kit were decided and a set of jerseys, shorts and stockings were purchased from Fussells a sports shop in Newport. The first colours being black and white hoops for the jerseys and stockings with black shorts.


As soon as the news got around that the Trinant Rugby Club had been reformed, a number of players from the village, who were playing for other teams in the valley, particularly, Oakdale R.F.C. asked if they could join the newly formed club and eight players from Oakdale R.F.C. transferred their allegiance to Trinant R.F.C. Their secretary complained bitterly that Trinant R.F.C. were "Poaching" their players but it was to no avail as the new season would enable anyone to join whatever team they wished.

These players were extremely talented and consisted of John Beckett, Lionel Beckett, Glyn Morgan, Harry Davies, Jim Smith, Howell Jenkins, Gwyn Jones and Hadyn Morgan, but Hadyn was recruited immediately to first class club, Abertillery R.F.C.

Many of the players, if not all, who took part in the first seven years, played out of sheer loyalty to the club and pure enjoyment of playing Rugby Football. As far as Ray can recall these are most of the players who took part in that era of the club:-


John Beckett   Dai Davies   Jack Watkins   Roy Harris   Colin Ricketts   Lyndon Nash   Peter Richards   Harry Davies

Gwyn Jones   Graham Clayton   Ray Brown   Martin Day   Hadyn Rees   Jeff Catley   Glyn Catley   Hadyn Morgan

Russell Weaver   Jim Leadbeater   Lionel Becket   Russell Thomas   Joe Morrisey   Dai Perrot   Harry Rowley

Ken Smith   Fred Watts   Ray Morgan   Bill Smith   Mike Hopkins   Terry Hopkins   Pat Hopkins


Ian Smith   Jim Smith   Mike Rees   Roy Rogers   Howell Jenkins   Terry Exall   Glyn Morgan

Trevor Parker   Leo Davies   Alan Jones   Keith Davies   Bill Leadbeater   Cedric Coombes   Richard Todd

Garnet Davies   Albert Clayton   Glyn Morrisey   Brian Bessant   Ken Morrisey   Jack Morriesy   Howard Seabourne


It was also decided to design a blazer badge with the help of a local design artiste, Randy Phillips. He drew up a blazer badge which depicted a set of goal posts with a black and white background. This was later changed to a different design incorporating the Monmouthshire portcullis, three brooks representing the village of Trinant, three feathers representing the Welsh Rugby Union and the colours of the Club, black and white. A scarf was later made of the colours of the Club with black and white stripes and the secondary colour of dark green.


In the previous years of the Club, the players had used the Pentwyn Inn for their changing facilities and Mrs. Lawrence, the Pub' proprietor, was again approached for this same facility. For a time this arrangement was quite suitable but an objection was made by Mrs. Lawrence because the players were walking over the cobbles outside the Pub in their muddy boots eventually causing mud to be carried into the Pub which required extra cleaning.

The Committee then decided to ask the families of the players requesting them to allow players of the visiting teams to wash and change in their homes. Some of the families would take two or three players and it was even known that as many as six players would be taken on occasions.


During the winter of 1956/1957 Season a very welcome innovation was the provision of a Nissin Hut which was purchased from a former Army Camp at Rogerstone for the sum of £20, this hut was then located on a concrete base on the green opposite Valley View and was going to be used for changing rooms for the players and when it was not being used for that purpose, it could also be used as a utility hut for raising funds for the club in the form of whist drives and little social get togethers. The hut was heated with a huge wrought iron fire stove and Ray was able to provide coal and firewood for the stove from his allowance from the local colliery. Within a few months the Ladies Section had purchased 10 electric fires which were placed on the ceiling of the hut, thus people who came to hut for games of whist were warm and dry. The hut had been painted inside with a nice mild green paint and it was particularly pleasant to all the players and visitors to the hut. Also purchased were 6 large tin baths, this allowed the players to bathe in the hut following matches. The hut also served use as a baby clinic for the local doctor, Dr. Edwards.


During the Season 1959/1960, the club were informed that the ground they were now using was no longer available because the Monmouthshire County Council required the ground to build a new school. The Committee decided that all matches would have to be played on an "away" basis and that in the meantime, the club should investigate the possibility of purchasing 9 acres of ground at the end of the village.

The Club contacted Barclays Bank at Newbridge, who agreed to loan the club the money to purchase the new ground but on condition that the deeds of the ground be deposited in the Bank as collateral for the loan. They also required two guarantors to sign for the loan and two stalwarts of the Club, namely, Mr. Albert Clayton and Mr. Gwyn Jones agreed to perform this function.

The ground was eventually purchased for the sum of £1200 but there was one huge snag. The ground was dipping to the level of 1 in 20 which was very severe to play any form of rugby. A firm of specialists were contacted to level the ground but they required £4000 and at the time, the Club were unable to afford that amount.


The club had been in contact with Major Snazell of Webbs Aberbeeg,. The local brewery, because there was talk of building a brand new club. During the conversations that were had with him he was told about the problem regarding the level of the ground and the high cost of the operation. He suggested that a bulldozer and scraper machine be hired on an hourly basis to level the ground. A firm at Bridgend was found to be suitable and work was started on the ground with the bulldozer. After pushing a total amount of 20,000 tons from the bank over the ground, levelling the ground with a scraper chain could begin. The time involved with this work was five days and the driver agreed to work extra time on the weekend to complete the job. The amount involved was £411.

Although the bulk of the work was done with the machines, the job could not have completed without the services of a qualified surveyor. This service was provided by Howell Jenkins, who was at the time playing for the Club at outside half. He and Ray used to go over to the ground at 7.30 a.m. every morning and Howell with his theodolite and with Ray holding the measuring rod would instruct the machine operator the level required of the ground at a specific points. Howell gave his services completely free of charge.


In the early sixties, with the ground having been levelled there was a need to provide dressing room‘s and showers at the ground. A firm at Abersychan was contacted who specialised in building sports facilities and within a few months, the club had acquired a brand new building on the ground with all mod cons.

The players who had been walking the length of the village to the Nissan Hut to bathe after matches, now had the absolute pleasure of showering after matches right on the ground.


During the first three years of the Club, it was decided to organise the need for a financial package and this took the form of a weekly "Tote". It was arranged to hold the draw on a Monday Night at 5 Valley View the home of Ray and Thelma Morgan, even to this day Ray cannot understand how his wife allowed hundreds of people to come into the house to bet on the Tote.

The finance was needed to cover such things as the Easter Tours to Southend Festival of Rugby and later Cornwall, plus the every day running of the Club. The first prize started out as £50 but this was later amended to £100 per week.


There was a need for the Club to hold social events but it didn't have a Social Club. This was resolved by a gesture of kindness by Mr. Tom Methuen, Proprietor of the Club which was situated opposite Wesley Terrace in the village of Trinant and in a big house at the end of Greenfield Terrace.

The Club asked if we could "adopt" Wackers Ranch" as the headquarters of Trinant Rugby Club and Mr. Tom Methuen, fondly known as "Wacker" agreed wholeheartedly to the request, and many good social evenings were held in the Club.


Following the acquisition of the first 9 acres of ground to build the rugby ground, a further 6 acres of ground became available and it was decided to approach Webb's Brewery to purchase this piece of land for the provision of a large Sports & Social Club

A meeting of the Rugby Club took place and suggestions were made to build a Rugby Club for the benefit of members but an amendment was carried that the Club was to be built for social members as well as Rugby Members. It was just as well, as the licence could be transferred from "Wackers Ranch" to the site of the new Club. The Club took about 18 months to build and was opened on 14th February, 1962, with the Secretary installed as Mr. Gwyn Jones. It was quite a successful Club and the whole village supported it with vigour.