P46 W26 D3 L17 : F624-A435
Capt : John Jeffery
Back row : J Thomas (Trainer), G Evans, G Sutton, K Poole, E Phillips, J Watkins, L Martin, G Rosser, P Waters, D Haines, AJ Panting (Match Hon Sec)
Middle row : L Daniel, G Treharne, RT Evans (Chairman), J Jeffery (Captain), RT Carter (Football Hon Sec), P Evans, V Perrins
Front row : I Taylor, D Haines, K James
Once again 17 matches were lost in a poor season for Newport RFC who were captained by John Jeffrey. For the first time in nearly 20 yrs a Newport player was sent of – in fact there were three – 2nd rows Len Martin and Jeff Watkins and prop Gary Sutton. The very popular wing 32 yr old Peter Rees could not command a regular place and joined Ebbw Vale. He had set an all time record of 158 tries in 330 matches since his debut in 1960/1. His 330 appearances was the then fourth highest in history.
There were a few highlights – club record of 281 pts (beating Keith Jarrett’s 250) by Laurie Daniel who was also highest try scorer with 15. Outside-half Keith James made his debut just 1 day after his 17th birthday – youngest Newport player since introduction of minimum age rule in 1950. He was obviously a very talented player and showed flashes of brilliance. Paul Evans moved to centre to accommodate him in the side. Some hailed Keith as the new David Watkins – time would tell.
To add to Newport’s problems captain John Jeffery broke a bone in his hand and missed the whole of March. Newport did manage to beat Cardiff twice and there were good home wins against Abertillery 29-9, Moseley 36-17, Bath 40-6, Bristol 40-0, Harlequins 32-10 and Aberavon 29-12. Creditable wins away were at Cardiff 6-0, Cambridge University 17-7, Aberavon 16-7, Bridgend 17-15, Pontypool 10-0 and Ebbw Vale 25-8.
Laurie Daniel (40) made the most appearances of the 42 players used followed by Gary Sutton (38), Paul Evans (37) and Eric Phillips (35). Phillips had joined from Newbridge. Paul Evans scored 13 tries and wing Phil Waters scored 12.
Utility back and future coach Adrian Hearne joined from Pontypool. Promising hooker Mike Paul joined from Blaina but was to play only 1 season.
Incredibly Newport did not have a single player in the 30 man Wales squad or the British Lions Squad that toured Australia / New Zealand.
Peter Rees : Club Try Scorer Record Holder (158 tries)