The origin of the Welsh Academicals was established during 1927 in the mining community of Mountain Ash, deep in the Cynon Valley of South Wales.
Despite the severe economic depression of the time, great sacrifices were made to allow students to reach their full potential, both academically and also on the rugby field. Aware of the difficulties often faced by university students in playing a high standard of rugby, a school caretaker by the name of Jimmy Austin formed a team of his former pupils and other students, which was christened the 'Welsh Academicals'.
At the time, the local Mountain Ash team was a major force in rugby, with Welsh internationals in its line up and a five year unbeaten ground record. But Austins belief in the ability of the students gave him the courage to challenge the local team to a match that attracted tremendous interest in the area, and to the amazement of all and sundry the students emerged victorious and began a famous tradition in student rugby.
For the subsequent 80 seasons the 'Accies', as they have become known, have continued this ethos of providing experiences to Wales' top student rugby players which has assisted their development towards greater honours.
An archive of recollections and photographs is being collated below:
Most of the above have been reproduced from 'The Accies at 75' (2002) edited by David Parry - Jones, along with more recent additions. Further contributions to this section are welcome and can be forwarded to Rhys Evans via the 'Contact Us' section.