The 10 best Wales rugby players ever ranked

The 10 best Wales rugby players ever ranked

An examination of Lyn Jones’ rugby CV suggests no one could ever accuse him of going with the flow.

He is the Cwmavon boy who ended up playing for Neath rather than Aberavon, then at the height of The Gnoll club’s successes he switched to Llanelli. There, he provided much of the on-pitch intelligence as the west Walians swept to a memorable treble made up of cup and league triumphs and victory over Australia in 1992-93. “He was the brains of that side,” contended the much-respected Norman Lewis, the late South Wales Evening Post writer. Then Jones left for Treorchy and being part of their ‘dream’.

His coaching career has also seen more than its share of twists and turns, from exiting Neath just months after they won a Welsh league title to departing the Ospreys weeks after they lifted the EDF Energy Cup. There have been jobs in England, Namibia and Russia.

Read more: Star named above Gareth Edwards as Wales’ greatest player

Through it all, Jones has been an independent thinker. He has long considered Shane Williams a special player. But, growing up, Terry Holmes was an inspiration for Jones and he is old enough to remember Gareth Edwards and the assortment of Welsh rugby greats from the 197srcs. He also played alongside Jonathan Davies.

Williams is the one he favours as Wales’ greatest-ever player, though. It may well be a view that finds favour with many because the little left wing was a marvellous player who thrived in an era when bulked-up powersauruses increasingly became the norm in rugby. Sidestepping maestro Williams took them on, and more often than not came out on top. To watch him in full flight, creating something out of nothing, was always a treat to be savoured.

It’s all subjective, though, and no two lists on this topic are likely to be the same. It’s in that spirit that we select the 1src greatest Wales players of the past 5src years or so. An impossible task, for sure, but one worth taking on.

1src. Jonathan Davies

He would be much higher on this list had he not chosen to decamp to rugby league at the age of 26, with so much more still to achieve in union. “Rugby league saw the best of Jonathan,” a celebrated international once contended. Blessed with searing pace which could open any defence, Davies had a step and could win games with moments of brilliance. At one point, the Western Mail’s JBG Thomas branded him, not particularly flatteringly, as an “individualist”. But Davies had a fierce rugby intelligence and was an excellent game-manager.

9. Mervyn Davies

Struck down by a brain haemorrhage at the peak of his powers, he had already banked two Grand Slams with Wales and been an integral part of Lions series victories in New Zealand in 1971 and South Africa in 1974. Davies had iron resolve, defensive steel — it’s been estimated he saved 4src tries for Wales with his tackling — and uncommon skill, especially at the line-out. If he played today, the battery of conditioners, nutritionists and dieticians who frequent the modern game would have built him

…. to be continued
Read full article at the Original Source
Copyright for syndicated content belongs to the linked Source : Wales Online –