- Ask Steven
'Dai Ding Dong'John GriffithsAugust 29, 2014
Which Welsh rugby player was known as "Dai Ding Dong"? Stephen Edwards, Wales
This was the nickname given by Sunday Times rugby correspondent Viv Jenkins to the Welsh captain of the mid-1960s, Clive Rowlands.
Rowlands masterminded a 6-0 Welsh win at Murrayfield in February 1963 - their first in the Scottish capital for ten years - with a series of tactical kicks that wrecked the game as a spectacle but ensured victory. One careful analyst counted 111 line-outs during the match.
Jenkins wrote next day: "Rarely, in modern times, can any one man have exerted such an influence on an international match as [Rowlands] did. After this, [he] has become one of the 'characters' of the game overnight.
"With his Celtic intensity of expression, wildly waving arms, slightly bandy legs and an absence of teeth that make him look like a little old man of the sea, this born tactician fashioned [the] game entirely to his own will, and was chief choirmaster and Dai Ding Dong, the bellringer, rolled into one.
John Griffiths is a widely respected rugby historian and is the author of several sports books, a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and co-author of the IRB International Rugby Yearbook. He has provided insight for Scrum.com since 1999.