Former Pupil Biographies
James Bridie (1857 - 1893)
James was a Scottish-born rugby union scrum-half who
played club rugby union for Cardiff and Newport, international Wales and
county rugby for Monmouthshire.
Bridie was born in Greenock in 1857
and was educated in Madras College, St. Andrews, before moving to Wales.
In the 1881 census he was described as a rope agent and was living in the
centre of Cardiff with his wife Marion. Although playing for several
south-eastern Welsh clubs, he is most notable as a Newport player; and it
is as a Newport player he was capped for the Welsh national team. His one
and only international appearance was against Ireland in a friendly match
before the Home Nations Championship was introduced. The match against
Ireland was only the second international Wales had played, and included
eleven new caps, a reaction to the terrible defeat in the first Welsh game
against England. Under the captaincy of Charles Lewis, Wales not only won
the game, but Bridie found himself on the scoresheet when he scored one of
four Welsh tries.
Although Bridie was not part of the team to face
England in the opening match of the 1883 Home Nations Championship, he was
selected for the second game, away to Scotland. The Scottish Rugby Union
rejected his inclusion due to his original nationality, and he was
withdrawn from the team, and never played for Wales again.
the 1885/1886 season, Bridie had found work in Bradford, and left behind
his connections with Welsh rugby. Still wishing to continue playing rugby
he joined local club Manningham RFC. After just playing one game for
Manningham he turned out for bitter rivals Bradford, before switching back
to Manningham RFC. The Manningham supporters, created a chant based on the
derogatory nursery rhyme, Taffy was a Welshman; despite the fact that
Bridie was deemed not to be Welsh by the Scottish rugby fraternity.
International matches played: Wales - Ireland 1882