Welsh director pays tribute to Lions legend Davies

Legend: Mervyn Davies, centre, with - from left to right - John Dawes, Hudson Tonga'uiha, Jonathan Mills and John Taylor at a London Welsh awards dinner Picture: Joe Jones

Legend: Mervyn Davies, centre, with - from left to right - John Dawes, Hudson Tonga'uiha, Jonathan Mills and John Taylor at a London Welsh awards dinner Picture: Joe Jones

First published in London Welsh

London Welsh managing director John Taylor has described Wales & British Lions legend Mervyn Davies's death as akin to losing a brother.

Davies, one of seven London Welsh players - including Taylor - to be selected for the Lions in their victorious 1971 tour of New Zealand, lost his battle with cancer today aged 65.

The number eight, affectionately known as 'Merv the Swerve', joined the Old Deer Park club in 1968 after moving to Surrey from Swansea to teach.

Barely three months after making his first team debut, he was capped for Wales at the start of the 1969 Five Nations Championship.

He went on to win two Grand Slams with Wales and three Triple Crowns and played all eight Tests for the Lions in victorious tours to New Zealand and South Africa.

Davies was handed the captaincy of his country in 1975 and skippered the side to the Five Nations Championship in the same year, and the Grand Slam the following season.

In his 46 international appearances for Wales and the Lions, Davies only ended on the losing side nine times.

Taylor, who played alongside Davies for club, country and the Lions, said: "His record speaks for itself and the legend will rightly live on.

"To those of us who counted him as a close friend he was much, much more than a great rugby player.

"This is one of the saddest days of my life – I’ve lost a brother."

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