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Chico Hopkins Question

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ScarletBear View Drop Down
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    Posted: 19 February 2021 at 4:19am
I had forgotten Chico Hopkins went on the 1971 Lions Tour. Wiki states he was a Maesteg player then.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1971_British_Lions_tour_to_New_Zealand_and_Australia

And we know he played for Llanelli in 1972 v the ABs.


So did he come to Llanelli straight from the Lions to start the 71-72 season, or from Maesteg to start the 72-73 season?

Wiki also says he went north to Swinton RLFC in 1972 which means he left straight after the ABs game. Is that accurate?

Much obliged.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aber-fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 February 2021 at 11:27am
Can't answer the question - sorry - but the Wikipedia entry is worth pasting here:

Although he played only 20 minutes for the full international Wales team, Hopkins earned lasting fame in Welsh rugby history due to a notable try against England in 1970.[4] It was unfortunate for him that Gareth Edwards was in possession of the Wales and British Lions scrum-half position at the time.

Hopkins moment of fame came during the England v. Wales game at Twickenham in 1970.[5] The Wales team were behind on points with twenty minutes to go. The captain, Gareth Edwards, was injured and had to retire from the game. Hopkins came onto the field as a replacement. He soon scored a try, and, after a conversion by J.P.R. Williams, Wales won the game.

He toured with the 1971 Lions to New Zealand and played in ten games against provincial sides.[6] He was an injury replacement for Gareth Edwards in the Dunedin Test match, which the Lions won, 9-3.


I remember that 1970 game - we were worried when the great Gareth Edwards went off, but Chico Hopkins had a storming 20min off the bench - I remembered that he scored from a lineout on their line, but not that they threw in and messed up... I do remember that Barry John put a gloss on things with a superb drop goal just before the end.

That's how we like them - late wins in exciting games - Wales were 13-3 down at one point - a very big deficit in those days. These are the highlights:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5PcqDDYZ74

JPR Williams scored a try and kicked a conversion in that game... his record v England is second to none:

Williams had many high points in his career, being a key player in a Welsh side that won Grand Slams in 1971, 1976, and 1978, and is particularly remembered for his record against England. In 10 tests between Wales and England he scored five tries – exceptional for a fullback – and was never on the losing side. 

Here's hoping for more of the same in a fortnight.

(Another footnote - despite becoming one of Wales' and the Lions' greatest goal-kickers, Barry John didn't take the kicks, yet - Gareth Edwards and JPR took the shots at goal in this game.)

“You cannot reason a man out of what he never reasoned himself into.” (Jonathan Swift)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KID A Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 February 2021 at 11:27am
Wasn't he a 'ringer'? Brought in just for a few games. Don't think Selwyn Williams was too happy!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dai38 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 February 2021 at 12:16pm
Chico Hopkins joined Llanelli RFC at the start of the 1972-3 season, his first game was a friendly against London Welsh in August 1972, Llanelli won and scored over 30 points from memory. He then went north more or less within a month of the All Blacks game.

I totally agree with KID A Selwyn must not have been happy.

By the way JJ joined more or less the same time, but as we all know stayed for years.

Tom David also joined at around the same time, but always said he wanted to end his career with Pontypridd, and he stayed around 3 seasons or so.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ScarletBear Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 February 2021 at 4:56pm
Originally posted by Dai38 Dai38 wrote:

Chico Hopkins joined Llanelli RFC at the start of the 1972-3 season, his first game was a friendly against London Welsh in August 1972, Llanelli won and scored over 30 points from memory. He then went north more or less within a month of the All Blacks game.

I totally agree with KID A Selwyn must not have been happy.

By the way JJ joined more or less the same time, but as we all know stayed for years.

Tom David also joined at around the same time, but always said he wanted to end his career with Pontypridd, and he stayed around 3 seasons or so.

So Chico literally played 4 months for the Scarlets. Confused
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dai38 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 February 2021 at 5:23pm
Scarlet Bear, you are correct, but in playing terms, it was really only Sept & October, as the London Welsh game was on Aug Bank Holiday, this is all from my vague remembrance of the time and from friends involved, Carwyn felt Llanelli were short in the 3 positions. 

For the All Blacks game, Ray Gravell was earmarked to play wing and Bernard Thomas in the centre, but Bernard had a very bad knee injury, so JJ came into the side and Ray moved to centre.

This is all from memory as I was only 18, and fellow players on the scene and "people in the know" told me. Llanelli also played the Barbarians in late Sept early Oct, as part of the century celebrations. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stradeyscarlet72 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 February 2021 at 7:04pm
You’ve really got to feel for Selwyn without doubt.  Terrific servant for us.  Chico was one of four players identified by Carwyn as those he wanted for Llanelli. He got three.  Jj , Tom and Chico arrived for the 72/73 season.  Chico went pro with Swinton in November 72.  Tom stayed till the end of the 74/75 season and my word what a loss he was.  Jj stayed till he retired at the end of the 80/81 season. RIP John .
Allegedly the fourth was Ian maclauchlin.  Aka Mighty Mouse 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ScarletBear Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 February 2021 at 7:38pm
Great info everyone. Selwyn was one of my favourites, obviously not Carwyn's. He doesn't appear to be a man of sentiment based on that.

Might Mouse obviously played for the Lions, but wasn't he also one of the despairing divers behind Phil Bennett when Wales scored to my mind our best ever try in Murrayfield in 1978.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aber-fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 February 2021 at 6:37pm
Originally posted by ScarletBear ScarletBear wrote:

Great info everyone. Selwyn was one of my favourites, obviously not Carwyn's. He doesn't appear to be a man of sentiment based on that.

Might Mouse obviously played for the Lions, but wasn't he also one of the despairing divers behind Phil Bennett when Wales scored to my mind our best ever try in Murrayfield in 1978.



Selwyn Williams was definitely hard done by - I suppose Chico was a more physical player, and no doubt Carwyn felt he'd be more able to take any hammer the All Blacks handed out... which brings me to the Battle of Canterbury:

'Mighty Mouse' McLoughlan wasn't even expected to make the starting test team on that tour, but dirty play by Canterbury shortly before the first test led to the first choice props - Ireland's Ray McLoughlin and Scotland's Sandy Carmichael - being badly injured and flown home.

As for the Benny try - it does indeed look like Mighty Mouse who is the last to fall flat on his face just before Benny scores - but I can't be sure as there is no number on the shirt. I was there, though - a great memory!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Grammar School Boy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 February 2021 at 7:34pm
Originally posted by Dai38 Dai38 wrote:

Scarlet Bear, you are correct, but in playing terms, it was really only Sept & October, as the London Welsh game was on Aug Bank Holiday, this is all from my vague remembrance of the time and from friends involved, Carwyn felt Llanelli were short in the 3 positions. 

For the All Blacks game, Ray Gravell was earmarked to play wing and Bernard Thomas in the centre, but Bernard had a very bad knee injury, so JJ came into the side and Ray moved to centre.

This is all from memory as I was only 18, and fellow players on the scene and "people in the know" told me. Llanelli also played the Barbarians in late Sept early Oct, as part of the century celebrations. 



I remember the Barbarians game, we put 30 on them as I recall....Mike Burton and Dai Morris were playing for them if I remember correctly 
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