Crawshays Select XV had an appropriate sprinkling of Monmouth representatives, in a game to commemorate the late, great Eddie Butler, when they visited Cambridge to play the university last week, reports GARETH ROBERTS.
Raglan-based TV commentator, writer and broadcaster Eddie was a patron of Monmouth RFC having played for them in his younger days when he captained Monmouth School.
He went on to play for Cambridge in the Varsity match, and captain Wales and Pontypool before establishing a career in TV and the media, and becoming the ‘voice of rugby’.
The Crawshays-Cambridge game has traditionally been a precursor to the Varsity match, though since the passing of the commentator and former national captain, the teams now turn out for the Eddie Butler Memorial bowl.
The invitational Welsh side was appropriately captained by his son and Monmouth School alumni Jacob, who was joined in the squad by younger brother Seth, Monmouth RFC’s Jordan Howells and Monmouth School’s Guy Thomas.
The Crawshays – who were founded in 1922 – invite a scratch squad to play in selected matches and tours, are renowned for their open style and have been represented by more than 450 Wales internationals in more than 300 matches.
These include legends such as JPR Williams, Gerald Davies, Gareth Edwards and more recently Ryan Jones and Shane WIlliams, as well as Eddie Butler himself.
Jacob, formerly of Abergavenny RFC and now at London Welsh, made a formidable centre pairing with Monmouth’s Howells, who opened the scoring for the Welsh visitors.
But in a pulsating match, they fell agonisingly short 34-33 at the end, providing great preparation for the hosts who look to win the Varsity Bowl against Oxford at Saracens RFC on March 2.
The game was featured on Scrum V on BBC Wales on Sunday (November 26).