Full name George Parsons
Born April 21, 1926, Newbridge
Died November 24, 2009 (aged 83 years 217 days)
Major teams Wales, Wales XV
|Only Test||Wales v England at Cardiff, Jan 18, 1947 match details|
|Test Statsguru||Main menu | Career summary | Match list|
George Parsons was born in Newbridge on April 21, 1926 and died in Crickhowell on November 24, 2009.
After attending Abertillery County School he played for Abertillery, Newbridge and Newport and was a member of the combined Abertillery/Cross Keys team against Australia in 1947. He played for Newport as a 17-year-old and was capped for Wales at 19, the youngest forward ever to play in an international at the time. He also appeared for Wales in two of the unofficial "Victory" internationals in 1946.
When full internationals were resumed the year later he played lock in the Welsh XV that was defeated 9-6 by England at Cardiff. He was the youngest member of that first official Welsh post-war side but lost his place for the visit to Murrayfield the month later. Then, after omission from the side originally announced for the trip to Paris in late March, he was called into the squad in the week before the match with France when Llanelli's back-row forward Ossie Williams withdrew.
The official party for the match mustered in Cardiff before embarking on its journey to France. When their London train stopped at Newport, Parsons prepared to join the team with other members of the Gwent contingent chosen for the Welsh squad. But the train pulled away without Parsons aboard. He had just resigned from the Monmouthshire Police Constabulary and, having been the regular target of RL offers to turn professional in the past, was suspected of being on the brink of going North. The secretary of the Welsh Rugby Union, Captain Walter Rees, confronted Parsons as he was about to board the train and the upshot of a short conversation between the two men was that the young forward was told that his services would not be required. His Newport club colleague, Bob Evans, was drafted in to the Welsh back-row and made his debut in a 3-0 Welsh victory.
Parsons protested his innocence, telling the Western Mail, "A difficult situation has arisen as a result of my decision to leave the police force." He strongly denied that he had any intention of turning professional and his harsh treatment, it seems, might have been the result of circumstantial evidence and malicious rumours. Although he made a strong bid for further international honours the following season, playing a prominent part in the combined Abertillery/Cross-Keys pack that tested the touring Wallabies, Parsons never again played rugby union for Wales. In 1948, Captain Rees stood down as secretary of the Welsh Rugby Union (shortly after his 86th birthday) while Parsons finally turned professional, joining Saints before going on to make 296 appearance for them.
He also made 12 appearances for Wales and in 1953 was a member of the team which beat Wigan in the Lancashire Cup final in front of 42,793 spectators. Three years later he was in the first Saints team to win the Challenge Cup.