I recently found this newspaper comic print... a full page portray of England fly-half and captain William John Abbott Davies published in 1922.
Say, I've never claimed - by far... - to be a specialist of the history of English Rugby! The name of this gentleman was familiar to me because I used to read his coaching / tactics book ("How to play Rugby Football" and "Rugby Football" published by Webster's in 1923 and 1933 respectively)... but I was far to know his achievements and that he was one of the first inductees to RFU "Wall of Fame".
As Dai Llewellyn puts it :
"Born in Pembroke in Wales in 1890, W.J.A.Davies led England to the Grand Slam in 1921 and 1923. He was also a member of the pre-War Grand Slam winning sides of 1913 and 1914.
He was England’s most capped fly-half with 22 appearances until Rob Andrew’s emergence towards the end of the 20th century, and he captained his country on 11 occasions.
His career was interrupted by the First World War, when, as a naval officer, Davies served aboard HMS Iron Duke, then HMS Queen Elizabeth and was appointed OBE in 1919 in recognition of his naval duty."
Four Grand Slams... despite of a five year break because of WW1... impressive!
He also enjoyed an impressive track record (cf his stats @scrum.com) : 22 played, 20 won, 1 draw (v France, 1922)... and only 1 lost (v South Africa, 1913... his international debut...). Check 1913 teams picture below (hi res picture here) where young Davies (then playing for Royal Naval College) stands in the third row, third from the left.
Let's also share these two pictures below, from W.J.A. Davies' "Rugby Football"
No date (1922 ?) : W.J.A.Davis, leading England at Twickenham, introducing his team to King George V.
W.J.A.Davies formed a notable international half-back partnership with his Royal Navy team-mate Cecil Kershaw; in their 14 matches together for England they never finished on the losing side (13W, 1D)... Here they are, giving a living example of "a short punt and quick follow up" to illustrate "Half back play" chapter...
P.S.: why does RFU have a "Wall of Fame" whereas most other sports do have a "Hall of Fame"... ?? something special to Rugby Union ? ;-)