04 May 2020

The latest recipient of a “Colony Cap” from the HKRU is Colonel W D C “Bill” Carling, who captained Hong Kong during his posting here with 1 Welsh Regiment; there are two designs of caps that are retrospectively awarded to those men and women who represented Hong Kong either prior to 1997 or afterwards, and this initiative has revealed some fascinating glimpses into local rugby history.


Bill, described in a press clipping at the time as a “burly front row forward”, was an England triallist before he arrived in Hong Kong, and remembers fondly his time here with his young family.  Playing alongside him in the Welch Regiment team was a Sergeant Di Llewellyn…Bill takes up the story;

“I had two sons, aged about 4/5 years and Di had two sons who were a little younger. I wasn’t aware of any contact between them although they could have met on the beach of course. After Hong Kong I can’t remember seeing Sgt Llewellyn again. Anyway to cut a long story short, my son William ended up playing for England and indeed captaining the side over 50 times and Di Llewellyn’s son Gareth played for Wales and also leading them on a number of times.  He was a more successful rugby father than me, however, because his second son also played for Wales!”


Who would have believed that some 50 years ago you might have come across the future England and Wales captains playing together on Stanley beach…!