Rugby Ground Sports Fields
No-one is sure when Laugharne Rugby Club was formed, but they celebrated their centenary in 1993 as there is a photo of Laugharne RFC
from the 1893/4 season. However, some claim that the team began in 1879, two years before the formation of the Welsh Rugby Union.
Evidence is strong as a newspaper report exists from 1879 when a 'football' match between Laugharne and Llandeilo was called off due to bad weather.
The actual word 'rugby' did not come into play for several years afterwards. Surprisingly, as it's a working-class game in Wales, rugby arrived from posh English Universities and public-school boys from richer families who introduced the game to Laugharne. Two vicars who played for Laugharne in 1883 both were educated at Oxford University. But whilst it had posh roots, it gave the young poor unemployed men of the township a purpose.
Laugharne was cut off from the traditional industrial heartland of rugby, but continued contact with Bristol and other English public schools. The roughest games were with two other cockle towns - Penclawdd and Llangain, as if they were competing for the same cockle beds.
The first former Laugharne player who played for Wales was Llanelli Scarlet's Elvet Jones. He won just the one cap, against Scotland in 1938.
The team were based at Pludd's Meadow at the top of Gosport St until 1945, where a new housing development is now. Then the team moved to the Glan y Mor estate, and then in 1951 moved to their current ground, on Woodford field, which was once farmland.
Players bathed in open air zinc baths behind the Cross House Inn until 1959 when the changing rooms were built. Stone in the foundations was taken from the derelict chapel from Cliff Cemetery.
In the late 40s the club was broke and had to borrow jerseys from Whitland and Tenby before a Reverend Ronald Pearce bought a set of jerseys from London.
1971 saw the biggest crowd when Laugharne played the mighty Llanelli Scarlets in the Schweppes Cup and 3000 people turned up.
The Scarlets, with 6 Welsh internationals, had a quick start scoring 15 points in the first 10 minutes but Laugharne fought back and only lost 27-10.
After the game The Western Mail rang up Brown's Hotel and publican Tommy Watts picked up the phone -
'What was the result?' came a voice down the line.
Tommy replied, 'Laugharne 72, Llanelli 0'.
The journalist hung up.
The most famous Laugharne player was Gary Pearce, who went from Laugharne to Llanelli, played 3 times for Wales, before 'going north'.
Current (2021) Welsh internationals Jonathan and James Davies are both burgesses of the town.
Laugharne now play in the WRU Division 4. Their badge has cockles, the castle, the Celtic cross in an image representing the feudal township system.
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