Our History

School rugby


As secondary education in Barry did not start till October 1896, school rugby only appeared in the shadows in the turn of the century.  In fact, the first identified record of the appearance of a school team was not until 1906, and it was only in 1908 when rugby joined soccer as being the forms of football being organised on a regular basis as part of the formal games programme.

This seemed to be the way things were across the board in South Wales schools, and fixtures were limited in the next few years which meant many schools forsook rugby and went back to soccer.  The Great War proved to be even more hindrance to the development of rugby in schools in the region.

The reformation of Barry Parade RFC in 1919 after the end of World War One served as a catalyst to school rugby in the town, and the Barry school teams succeeded in various games against more experienced opposition.  By 1923 rugby had replaced soccer as the main sport in local schools. 

Tom Arch in 1924 had the distinction of being the first native Barrian to gain a Welsh Schools cap (U14), and throughout the years there were high and lows for the Barry schools, as well as more players gaining caps at Schools level. 

World War II proved another thorn in the development of school rugby in Barry as well as in South Wales, but following some hard work from many unsung heroes, Barry produced an 'invicible' team in 1952-53, when the Junior 'A' side of the Grammar School became the first of the school teams ever to remain unbeaten, winning 19, drawing 2 and scoring 384 points.  This was, however, not to be the last of the 'invincibles', as the feat was repeated several times in the following years, demonstrating the strength, depth, and interest of rugby football in Barry.