In 1909-10 Newport played 39 matches won 29 , lost 2 and drew 8. Under the captaincy of TH Vile they are described by club historian Jack Davis in his brilliant 'Newport RFC 1875-1960' as follows "The special quality of 1909-10 was the superlative grit shown by the players and the way in which the team saved or won games was remarkable. They were the pluckiest team I have ever known...Perhaps the game against Harlequins was the most exciting Newport ever played. At half time the visitors led by 15 points to 3, but in the second half Newport defended strenuously, attacked wonderfully and won on the post."

Tommy Vile

Vile took part in a trial for Newport in 1900 at the age of 17 and despite his slight build was chosen as a forward. Due to injuries to other players, Vile got his chance and was accepted into the Newport ranks and in 1902 made his first-class debut for the club. During the 1903/04 season he became the club's regular scrum-half. Vile was a master of the reverse pass and was also a strong kicker who scored many drop goals for his club.

In 1909 he was made captain of Newport and showed himself as a great offensive tactician; and in the 1911/12 season lead his team to the Club Championship. In 1912, Vile alongside team partner Walter Martin were impressive in the match against the touring South Africans, which saw Newport win 9-3.


See below some excerpts from a season review in the Evening Telegraph