Jeff Young

Fearless Welsh rugby international

Jeff Young was one of those rugby players who feared nothing and always tried to cause the maximum amount of mayhem on the field. His playing career included 23 Welsh caps, a tour with the British and Irish Lions and a key role in what is often described as the greatest Welsh team of all time, the 1971 Grand Slam side.

His indomitable spirit made him one of the most admired players in the Welsh pack, but often landed him in trouble, most notably in New Zealand in 1969. Travelling with the Five Nations champions and Triple Crown holders to New Zealand, Young had his jaw broken at a line-out in the first Test against the All Blacks in Christchurch by a punch from Colin Meads as an act of retaliation for alleged jersey-pulling.

Young missed the next two Tests on that tour, and the unofficial game in Fiji, but was restored for the 1970 Five Nations campaign. While many of his contemporaries ribbed him about his uncle Jack Young's being a member of the Welsh selection panel, the "Big Five", the fact is that Young was never dropped at international level between his début, against Scotland in 1968, and his last game for Wales against France in 1973.

One Grand Slam, two Triple Crowns, two outright Five Nations championship wins and two tied championships came his way with Wales and there could have been another Grand Slam in 1972 had the Welsh team travelled to Ireland in a season when they beat the other three countries hands down. Young also played nine times on the Lions tour to South Africa in 1968, including the first Test.

Born in Blaengarw, Glamorgan, Young played for the Wales Schools Under 19 team for three successive seasons, 1959-61. He launched his senior playing career at Bridgend, helping them to win the Unofficial Welsh Championship in 1965, before joining Harrogate. He also played for London Welsh and the RAF. He was a teacher in Yorkshire for seven years, and spent 20 in the RAF, rising to wing commander, before being headhunted in 1991 by the Welsh Rugby Union as their first technical director. He coached the RAF and the British Combined Services on their joint tour with British Police in New Zealand in 1988, and also acted as team manager at Bridgend.

In his role at the WRU, he earned a reputation for being a modern thinker on the game as it moved rapidly towards professionalism.

Rob Cole

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test