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Dennis Gethin presents the SWALEC Cup in 2011
Dennis Gethin

Dennis Gethin OBE, MA, LLM (Cantab)

President of the Welsh Rugby Union

Born 24 May 1944. One of seven children raised in the small mining village of Seven Sisters near Neath in the Dulais Valley of South Wales, Dennis's father and eldest brother were both coalminers working underground. All the family were Welsh speaking.

At Neath Grammar School, where he became Head Prefect, he was encouraged to pursue his twin passions of history and rugby and won a place at Selwyn College, Cambridge where he continued to do both. Recognising that Law might offer a more promising career path than history, he switched track and graduated after four years, achieving both a Master of Arts Degree, and a Master of Laws Degree.

After leaving college in 1967 Dennis went on to train as a solicitor and qualified in 1971. Following a brief period in private practice he joined Glamorgan County Council as their assistant solicitor and remained there for 2 years before moving to Taff Ely Borough Council where he became the Council's Chief Executive.

1998 saw another career move when, having left local government, he took up sports administration, becoming Secretary of the Welsh Rugby Union; a post he held for 5 years until 2003. After retirement from the WRU he joined the BBC Broadcasting Council in Wales and was a member from 2004-2009.

In 2007 Dennis was elected President of the Welsh Rugby Union, an office he continues to hold. In addition he is also
• President Wales Deaf Rugby
• Chairman Welsh Rugby Charitable Trust, a charity dedicated to providing help and support to severely injured rugby players.
• Patron Glamorgan County Rugby
• Life member of Welsh Academicals RFC and Seven Sisters RFC
• President Cor Meibion Pontypridd
• Vice President Cor Meibion De Cymru

Honorary Awards
In 2009 Dennis was awarded the Chancellor's Medal by the University of South Wales for his services to rugby, and in 2014 he was made an Honorary Doctor of Laws by the University of Swansea in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Welsh cultural life.

Rugby Career

Rugby has always played a major part in Dennis's life. He became a Welsh Secondary Schools International in 1963, obtained two Rugby Blues at Cambridge (1965 & 1966), played fullback for his home village of Seven Sisters before playing for Swansea, Neath, Cardiff (1966-1971), and finally Glamorgan Wanderers. In 1971 he gave up playing first class rugby to concentrate on his legal career.

Whilst playing for Cambridge he played against the 1963 New Zealand All Blacks and the 1966 Australian Wallabies. During his playing career with Cardiff he became their record points scorer and played against the South African Springboks in 1969.

Presidents of the Welsh Rugby Union

Period President
1881 (March) CC Chambers Esq
1881 (September) Earl of Jersey
1885-1906 Sir JTD Llewellyn, Bart
1906-1947 HS Lyne Esq, MBE
1947-1953 Sir David Rocyn Jones CBE, K St J, DL, JP
1953-1954 Ernest Davies Esq, JP
1954-1955 WR Thoms Esq, MBE, JP
1955-1956 Major TH Vile, MBE, JP
1956-1957 Glyn Stephens Esq, JP
1957-1958 Enoch H Rees Esq
1958-1959 FG Phillips Esq
1959-1960 Lt Col PR Howells
1960-1961 D Hopkins Thomas Esq
1961-1962 DE Davies Esq
1962-1963 JW Faull Esq, MBE
1963-1964 D Ewart Davies Esq
1964-1965 Nathan Rocyn Jones Esq, MD, FRCS
1965-1966 David Jones Esq
1966-1967 TC Prosser, Esq, BEM
1967-1968 Glyn Morgan Esq
1968-1969 Ivor E Jones Esq, CBE, JP
1969-1970 VC Phelps Esq
1970-1971 KM Harris Esq, CBE
1971-1972 Rhys E Williams Esq
1972-1973 VJ Parfitt Esq, BEM
1973-1974 LM Spence Esq MBE
1974-1975 HM Bowcott Esq
1975-1976 Handel C Rogers Esq
1976-1977 Hywel Thomas Esq, TD, LLB
1977-1978 T Rowley Jones Esq
1978-1979 DJ James, Esq
1979-1980 G Roblin Esq
1980-1981 Cliff W Jones Esq, OBE, MA
1981-1982 OG John Esq, OBE
1982-1983 Hermas Evans Esq
1983-1984 Eirwyn B Davies Esq
1984-1985 Kenneth W Gwilym Esq
1985-1986 Alun Thomas Esq
1986-1987 Desmond Barnett Esq, JP
1987-1988 W George Morgan Esq
1988-1989 Myrddin Jones Esq
1989-1990 Clive Rowlands Esq, OBE
1990-1991 GJ Treharne Esq
1991-1992 Ieuan Evans Esq
1992-1993 Graham L Tregidon Esq
1993-2004 The Right Honourable Sir Tasker Watkins VC, GBE, DL
2004-2006 Keith Alun Rowlands
2006 (Sept- Nov)
2007 (May-Oct)
Keith Alun Rowlands
Glanmor S Griffiths
2007-present Dennis Gethin
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