Cardiff Blues and RAF Rugby Union set to meet in Bleddyn Williams Challenge

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Cardiff Blues men and women will field sides against the Royal Air Force for the inaugural Bleddyn Williams Challenge at the Arms Park on the 9th May.

The games will marks the centenary of the RAF’s Rugby Union as well as celebrate the life of Bleddyn Williams, the former Cardiff RFC and RAF player who was dubbed the ‘Prince of Centres’ during his playing career.

Williams trained as a fighter pilot in the RAF during World War Two and represented the rugby team with distinction, going on to play for the Blue and Blacks during the 40s and 50s.

He captained the British and Irish Lions on their tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1950, during which time he earned his nickname, and famously led both Cardiff and Wales to victory over the All Blacks in 1953.

Altogether he played 283 times for Cardiff, one of seven brothers to do so, as well as winning 22 Wales caps and went on to act as President of Cardiff RFC and the Cardiff Athletic Club, having hung up his boots due to injury aged 32.

Cardiff Blues Life President, Peter Thomas said: “First of all it is a real privilege that Cardiff Blues have been selected to play against the RAF and secondly that it’s going to be in the memory of the Prince of Centres, the one and only Bleddyn Williams, whose partnership with Dr Jack Matthews is renowned.

“We’ve had some amazing players throughout the history of Cardiff and Cardiff Blues but supporters will tell you that the partnership of Bleddyn and Jack was special.

“They were wonderful people and Bleddyn, captain of Cardiff, captain of Wales, captain of the British Lions, what a man and what an achievement. He had two clubs, the RAF and Cardiff. He is sadly missed but fondly remembered.

“We are honoured to play this game at the Arms Park. We were privileged to welcome Uruguay for a similar game last season and this promises to be another great occasion.”

His son, Bleddyn Ashley Williams added: “Cardiff Rugby was his life. It is absolutely unbelievable and I know this would be another pinnacle of his career, knowing the RAF and Cardiff Blues think this much of him – he would be very proud.

“The fact that this game is being played in his name is absolutely brilliant and means a huge amount to the family.”

The fixture takes place on VE Day 75 weekend and a day after Cardiff Blues face Connacht in the Guinness PRO14.

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