England Rugby Union Team. One of England’s best ever Flyhalfs was in fact born in Wales. William John Abbott Davies, known as Dave. He was born in Pembroke, Wales, and originally played for Pembroke Dock Harlequins. Davies joined the Royal Navy and opted to represent England on the international stage.

Made his debut for England Rugby Union Team against the Springboks in 1913

Aged 22 Davies made his England debut on 4 Jan 1913. This was against the touring South Africa side.  Davies was on the losing side in this, his debut game, 9 -3 to the Springboks. However, it was the only time he tasted defeat wearing an England jersey.  In addition, he played a further 21 times for England. This included an 11-11 draw to France in the 1922 Five Nations.  In 1913 he played in the victory over Wales in Cardiff. This was the first-ever victory in Cardiff. And it was a Grand Slam-winning campaign for England Rugby.

Another Grand Slam for England Rugby Union Team in 1921

Unfortunately, in 1914 he was injured at the start of the 5 Nations and missed the game against Wales. However, he did return to play in the other 3 matches in the 1914 England Grand Slam. Then, after the war, when rugby resumed. Davies played in only two of the 1920 Five Nations matches. But, for the 1921 season, he was made Captain. Once again, the talented Half back led the team to another Grand Slam. Wins at home to Wales and Ireland. And away against Scotland in Inverleith and France in Colombes.

Congratulations on the 1923 Grand Slam from the King of England

An injury forced him to miss the opening match of the 1922 tournament. It was a loss to Wales. However, he returned to captain the side to three wins in their remaining matches.  He then followed this up with another Grand Slam campaign in 1923. This was his last season as captain of England.  The achievement of remaining unbeaten as captain was acknowledged by many at the time. Even the King feeling compelled to write via his Equerry:

“The King wishes me to let you know how delighted he was to hear of the victory of the English team in Paris and to congratulate you on being captain of the winning team in all your matches.  His Majesty feels sure that you must have created a record by this fitting termination to your brilliant career in international football.”

Outstanding record and the inspiration behind our vintage shirt

His record as both the Navy and England’s, captain remains unbeaten.  He won four Grand Slams in his time as a player, two of which were when he was skipper.  In addition, he led the Royal Navy during their most successful period ever.  As the captain of England, his win ratio was over 95%, won 10, drew 1 loss 0, a record.

Our England Rugby 1923 Shirt 1924 Grand Slam shirt was partly inspired by the outstanding team of 1923. This was the team led by William John Abbott Davies. Known as Dave Davies. The Ellis Rugby jersey features the famous Red Rose stitched in the colours used at the time. In addition, it includes a large patch applique. Also, gold embroidery 1923-1924 Grand Slam is included on the back of the neck. In addition, we’ve added a microchip under the decorative seam woven label. When scanned by a mobile phone it links with a video showing original footage and the story behind the shirt.