Wales Rugby Mervyn Davies.

Wales Rugby Mervyn Davies. Along with Fergus Slattery and Roger Uttley. Welshman Mervyn Davies formed the best Lions back row of all time. In the opinion of many commentators and players. Mery the Swerve was not only the best No 8 ever to play for the Lions. But simply the greatest of No 8s, full-stop. Davies was an immense presence in both the 1971 and 1974 tours. And remains a legendary figure in both New Zealand and South Africa.

Exceptional Lineout Jumper

A tall and surprisingly slight figure. Davies nevertheless had a rare raw-boned strength. A remarkable standing jump that allowed him to dominate the back of the lineout. And, above all, an uncanny sense of timing and anticipation. Those qualities were to stand him in good stead in New Zealand. Where he was a constant source of lineout ball. All Blacks Colin Meads said that Davies “had us donkey-whipped” at the back of the lineout.

1974 Lions Tour to South Africa

While the almost telepathic understanding he had developed with scrum-half Gareth Edwards was a key factor in the Lions’ series win. A deft handler. And distributor of genuine quality. He was not just a playmaker. But also a perceptive defender and tireless tackler. Just how tireless was obvious on the 1974 tour to South Africa. The party had departed with talented Englishman Andy Ripley in pole position to wear the No8 jersey. But Davies inspired play in matches. Such as the ones against Orange Free State and Northern Transvaal got him into the Test side. Also, one scything tackle on Springbok flanker Jan Ellis in the mud at Cape Town. Plus a rampaging drive that set up Edwards for the winning drop-goal. This confirmed that he would stay there for the remaining three tests.

1976 Wales Rugby Grand Slam Hero Mervyn Davies

Such was the regard in which Davies was held that he was to be offered the captaincy of the 1977 Lions. With his Lions experience and what he had learned as he led a Wales side in transition to a Grand Slam in 1976. He would have been a perfect choice. Unfortunately aged 29 he suffered a career-ending brain haemorrhage during a Welsh Cup semi-final in 1976. With only prompt medical attention at the sidelines saving his life. In addition, Mervyn Davies was selected for the Greatest Lions XV. Ahead of (in order) Dean Richards, Jim Teller, lain Paxton, Jim Greenwood, and Willie Duggan.

Wales Rugby Grand Slam and 1971 British Tour Shirts

Also, we have two shirts that celebrate the teams Mervyn played in. The 1971 British Isles Lion Shirt. In addition, the Wales Rugby Shirt 1976 Grand Slam.