Barry John (born 6 January 1945) is a former Welsh rugby union fly-half who played, during the amateur era of the sport, in the 1960s, and early 1970s. John began his rugby career as a schoolboy playing for his local team Cefneithin RFC before switching to first-class west Wales team Llanelli RFC in 1964. It was while at Llanelli that John was first selected for the Wales national team, a shock selection as a replacement for David Watkins to face a touring Australian team. In 1967 John left Llanelli RFC for Cardiff RFC and here he formed a partnership with Gareth Edwards that became one of the most famous half-back pairings in world rugby. From 1967, John and Edwards made an inseparable partnership with rugby selectors, being chosen to play together at all levels of the sport, for Cardiff, Wales, the Barbarians and in 1968 for the British Lions tour of South Africa. The 1968 British Lions tour ended prematurely for John when he suffered a broken collarbone in the first Test match against the South African national team. In 1971 the Wales national team entered what is considered their second 'Golden Age', with a team rich in experience and talent. John was part of the team that won the 1971 Five Nations Championship, the first time Wales had achieved a Grand Slam win since 1952. He then cemented his reputation as one of the sport's greatest players with his pivotal role in the British Lions winning tour over New Zealand in 1971. On the 1971 tour, John played in all four Tests, playing some of his finest rugby and finishing as the Lions' top Test scorer. John won 25 caps for the Wales national team and five for the British Lions. Possessing excellent balance to his running and along with precision kicking made him one of the great players of the modern era. He retired from rugby at the age of 27, as Wales highest points scorer, citing the pressure of fame and expectation behind his decision.
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