Reunited At Last

England and Wales jerseys 1910

England and Wales meet at Twickenham for the 55th time on Saturday. 110 years ago the two sides helped kick off the Twickenham era when Ben Gronow did the honours in the first of his four caps for Wales.

Gronow had come into a strong Welsh side that had dominated the championship for more than a decade and went into Twickenham’s first test-match as favourites. Instead it was England, under the inspirational leadership of Adrian Stoop, who took the game to the visitors. Upon collecting Gronow’s kick, Stoop instigated a quick attacking move that saw Fred Chapman dive over the try-line for England in the first minute.

Chapman then landed a penalty before Wales struck back with a try from Tom Evans and England led 11-3 at half time. In the second half, Wales dominated possession and added a second try through Reggie Gibbs. Thereafter the likes of Cherry Pillman, Len Haigh and Dai Gent offered stout defensive resistance that allowed England to hold on for an 11-6 victory. It was their first win against Wales in more than a decade.

The match would be the last in the storied career of Charlie Pritchard, who at the end of the match is believed to have swapped jerseys with an England player. That jersey, pictured above, is now on display in our Charlie Pritchard exhibition. Alongside it is the jersey worn by Ben Gronow in the same match.

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This entry was posted in England, International Players, Museum Collection, Twickenham, Wales. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Reunited At Last

  1. Huw Richards says:

    Gronow an intriguing character. Went on to a great rugby league career as a key member of the Huddersfield team who, before Wigan 88-95 , were undoubtedly the most dominant in the game’s history. Began the sequence of Welsh players who for more than 100 years have held the single-season points record, and late in career became the first British pro to join an Australian club. His family stayed in Huddersfield and are still prominent in league circles.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dave Davison says:

    Bridgend born and bred! Still a lot of his relations in the town.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jonathan Gronow says:

    Ben Gronow was my Great Grandad …my name is Jonathan Gronow … son is called Ben!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. keithgregson says:

    Really enjoyable comments. Makes any similar research worthwhile. While looking something up recently in connection with Newcastle Falcons Michael Young ( a former pupil who has just signed a three year extension with Falcons) I found him playing for a 2005 England under 16 Schools side against a Wales school side containing Halfpenny, Biggar and Webb! Still together after all those years. Rhys is a Bridgend boy too I believe.

    Liked by 1 person

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