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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
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 - PHP

£17000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity is now ...

Recruitment Genius: Account Executive - Graduate / Entry Level

£22000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital advertising infras...

Recruitment Genius: European Sales Director - Aerospace Cable & Wire

£100000 - £125000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a top tier supplier to the...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Project Manager

£17100 - £22900 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the North West's leading...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral