Former Oxford Blue Denis Evans, who went on to win one cap for Wales and then became the Secretary of the Welsh Rugby Union, has died at the age of 86.
His one cap for Wales came against the 1960 South Africans in Cardiff, a game which was lost 3-0 by the home side. He enjoyed a successful playing career at Ebbw Vale, Llanelli and Oxford.
He scored 40 tries in 100 appearances for Llanelli and also lined-up for them against Avril Malan’s Springboks in 1960. He was captain of Ebbw Vale the 1962-63 season
Born in Scunthorpe, he was raised in Trefil and went to Tredegar Grammar School. He was a student at the University College of Wales before entering St Edmund Hall in 1959.
He won his Blue in the 1959 Varsity Match at Twickenham, when Oxford beat Cambridge 9-3 in a game of four penalty goals, playing in between two England caps in skipper Malcolm Phillips and Richard Sharp.
After leaving Oxford he became a graduate trainee with iron and steel manufacturers Richard Thomas & Baldwin, later moving into their education department. He became the chief education and training officer for the South Wales Electricity Board in 1966 before moving to Hong Kong.
There he coached both the Hong Kong FC and the Colony side and became Secretary of the Hong Kong Union. He went on to serve as chairman in 1979-80.
“Rugby in Hong Kong came of international age during that time as evidenced by visits from Wales, Scotland and France as they stopped over on summer tours. Denis played a very significant role in making these games happen, and as the Sevens grew the good relations that had been fostered during those visits eventually paid dividends for Hong Kong,” a statement from the Hong Kong Union said.
He was appointed Secretary of the WRU in succession to the former chief constable of South Wales Police, David East. He took up his post in January, 1990 and eventually left his office in October, 1993.
He became the eighth Secretary of the WRU and was the third former international player, after Billy Gwynn and Bill Clement, to fill the position.
Denis is survived by his wife Janet and daughter Sally and our thoughts are with them at this time.
Denis Pritchard Evans (Oxford Blue No 649 / Wales Cap No 653): B: 19.03.1936 in Scunthorpe; D: 08.07.2022