Our History

The Fight for WRU Status
(Written in July 1975)

The present Secretary, Les Jones, took office in October 1954 following the resignation of Glan John due to work commitments. Fixtures for the current season had not been completed, there was apathy in the club, a little split in the Committee and it was very difficult to field a senior side. However with the help of Jack Bayliss, the fixture list was successfully completed and the Club managed to struggle through one of the most serious periods in its history.

The summer of 1956 saw the return of Eldred Bayliss from Coventry. He agreed to take on the task of Assistant Secretary with special responsibility for fixtures. The following aims were the challenge for the future:-

  1. To stabilise the Club and restore it to a sound footing.
  2. To revitalise the spirit of the players and committee.
  3. To give the Club financial stability.
  4. To fight for Welsh Rugby Union Status.

In order to achieve these aims, a finance sub-committee was set up comprising of Ted Kite, Jack Bayliss, the Secretary, and the Assistant Secretary. The latter pair were also at this time working hard on trying to improve the fixture list so as to include as many W.R.U. Clubs as was humanly possible.

All in all the season was fairly successful. In 1956, the Secretary paid a visit to his parents' home in Treorchy. Whilst there he visited the new Clubhouse of Treorchy R.F.C., one of the first 2nd class clubs to provide this facility. On his return the Secretary suggested that the Waunarlwydd R.F.C. should venture a similar scheme to build a Clubhouse, as this would certainly enhance their chances of affiliation to the W.R.U. There was also the possibility that this would bring some spirit back into the club. After a great deal of discussion it was decided to go ahead with the proposal.

After investigating proposed sites at Stepney Road and Bridge Road, both of which turned out to be unsuitable, building commenced at the present site at Roseland Road in January 1957. This year saw our application for W.R.U. status turned down once more. Our great friends and rivals Bonyrnaen were accepted. Arthur Powell, the chairman of Bonyrnaen, promised to support our next application in three years time and to continue the fixtures with our club. We were to say the least 'a little down in the mouth'!

Three years of hard work followed with much of the effort being directed to the building of our Clubhouse which was finally completed in 1960. The same year was once again the year when applications were invited for W.R.U. Status. The Club was this time very confident considering the on-field achievements of the previous season in addition to the opening of the New Headquarters. "This is our Season" was the feeling of all concerned, since our first application had been submitted in 1934!

Alas, we were once more devastated when our application was unsuccessful. The disappointment was so great that a letter was sent to the W.R.U. requesting their reasons for turning us down. The reply was based solely on 'geographical position' i.e. our proximity to so many existing W.R.U. Clubs. Les Jones then stated only two avenues appeared to be left open to us prior to our next application in 1963:-

  1. that we move the village of Waunarlwydd stone by stone to the top of the Brecon Beacons to see if this would comply with W.R.U. ruling!
  2. that we endeavour to strengthen our application and keep on 'fighting' until we reached our goal.

The fixture secretary Mr. Eldred Bayliss worked really hard on the fixture list and an 'all W.R.U. club' list was achieved and maintained up to the next application. A second XV was also formed and continuity was now established from the youth XV through to the 1st XV with all teams being very successful in their respective leagues.

In 1963, the 'Long Awaited Year', the Club were this time proposed by Swansea Rugby Club and seconded by Gorseinon R.F.C. Many W.R.U. Clubs sent letters of recommendation, led once again by our friends from Bonymaen.

The eagerly awaited news broke in October 1964 when the names of the successful clubs were announced and our goal had been achieved - Waunarlwydd had been accepted! About fifty to sixty members arrived at the Secretary's home with 'suitable refreshments' and a drinking celebration went on into the early hours of the morning.

Successive years have proved that our acceptance was fully justified as the Club has continued to achieve success on the field as our playing records show. In addition everything possible has been and still is being done to foster the Rugby Union code at all levels in the district.