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My Debut - Accounts of people's 1st game

Becoming a Warrior: Jamie Evans

Jamie Evans became the 13th Warrior to make 100 appearances. Here we look back at his debut when the Warriors paid their 1st visit to Betws RFC in their 4th season.
Debut: Betws (away) 6/3/1999 Betws 20 Llanelli Warriors 22

Warriors XV: Dai Spriggs, Rob Bevan, Dean Gilasbey, Lee Rowlands, Colin Tacon, Gary James, Andrew Russ, Darel Watkins (Adrian Payne), Colin Davies, Ed McVicar, Nigel Merrick, Steve Walley, Ray Millet, Gwilym Lewis, Dai Newson (Cpt)

The game was played on a very wet Rice Road field that Betws no longer have use of. It was the return match after the teams had played at Stradey and was the Warriors 16th fixture. Jamie at the time was barley in high school and came along with his uncle Gary James, complete with Harry Potter glasses.

Jamie remembers, Gary brought me along. “I was very nervous as I was so young and didn’t really know what was going on. I remember being given boots far too big for me and stuffed with news paper. I stood on the touch line and went on for a few minutes in the 2nd half, I played on the wing and was given the ball. I went on a mazy run and, I realise now, people were diving near me but deliberately missing. I got quite close to the try line and passed to someone else (Original prop Ed McVicar) and he went and scored”. Not surprisingly it was 9 seasons before he played again. “I was in the RAF and started playing the odd game when home. The club were based at the Cambrian by then, I remember going back there with players like Dai Spriggs, Dai Newson, Jonathan Jones and Dean Gilasbey. When I left the RAF I played more regularly and started to get involved off the field. I love playing for the Warriors, it’s been a great laugh and all the boys are mates. I’ve done loads of things I wouldn’t have done otherwise like playing at the Arms Park and touring to Samoa. It’s great seeing the confidence develop and then seeing the person”.
Jamie is now the club’s treasurer and has instigated the annual black tie dinner (next one October 20th) and also coaches the team. He was top point and try scorer in 2014/15 and is the 2nd most capped fly half. A crucial part of the club now, it shouldn’t be forgotten that Jamie couldn’t find touch in the Arms Park, is cursed when hiring buses and always has 1st verse in sing songs: “Jamie can’t play rugby cos his nose blocks out the sun”.

Back to the history: this was possibly the 1st match that John Horwood missed and a match program is available on Rugby Relics (£1). The game was memorable for Darel Watkins showing amazing mobility – between resetting a scrum he was able to move 10yards so we all had to wait for him to negotiate the puddles.

Of the Betws team Dylan Rees, Cellan Davies (Betws) and Nic James (Pantyffynnon) have all played against the Warriors recently. Dylan Higgon later played for the Warriors at St. Helens. 5 of the Warriors that day have featured this season.

written Feb 2018

Where next?

Richard 'Hapus' Evans (from Bumbles programme April 2017) Becoming a Warrior – My Debut: Richard Evans Sun 9/11/03 Llanelli Warriors 5 41 Swansea Glad

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