- Has Some Fascinating Memories From A Superb Rugby Career At The Highest Level
Phil Bennett was born on 24 October 1948 and was a Welsh Rugby Union fly half from 1969 to 1978. His flair and range of tricks, including his famous sidestep and swerve, meant he was a firm favourite with crowds.
Born in Felinfoel, Wales, Bennett made his debut on the 22nd March 1969 against France in Paris at the age of 20 when he became the 1st ever substitute in International Rugby.
Initially, Phil played in a number of positions including fullback and centre, but settled in the fly-half position in 1972. He succeeded the legendary Barry John in that position.
His form meant that he joined the British Lions on their famous tour to South Africa in 1974, scoring 103 points. His 50-yard try against Pretoria on that tour was a career highlight. Even so, a place in the Wales side was not guaranteed, and he found himself a tightly marked man for the rest of his career. This meant he never reached the heights of 1974, although he did captain the British Lions on the 1977 Tour.
Bennett retired from Rugby Union in 1978, having won a total of 29 caps. He played his club rugby at Llanelli RFC, where he played 16 seasons. He also played 20 times for the Barbarians, including the famous game against the All Blacks in 1973.
His autobiography is entitled Everywhere for Wales, and he now commentates on the game for television.
In November 2005 Phil Bennett was finally admitted into the Welsh rugby hall of fame.
Career Record: P29, W19, D4, L6
Test Points: 166
Drop Goals: 2
Won 8 British Lions caps (4 in 1974 v. South Africa and 4 in 1977 as captain v. New Zealand). Held the world record for international points (210 pts – 166 for Wales + 44 for Lions). In 1976 he scored record equalling 38 points in the Five Nations Championship.
Captained 1977 British Lions tour to New Zealand. Awarded OBE in 1978. Winner of 2 Grand Slams with Wales in 1976 and 1978, 3 Five Nations Championships in 1970, 1973 & 1975, and 1 Triple Crown in 1977.
Phil is available for after dinner speaking for Sportsmans Dinners and Corporate Events and has some fascinating memories from a superb rugby career at the highest level.