02 December 2022 / Club News

Clup Cap Darren Humphries 450 Games

Bargoed RFC Legend
Bargoed RFC have recognised the fantastic service that Darren Humphries has given to the club over a 22 year career, and still counting.
Darren made his debut for the 1st XV at Bargoed RFC in season 2001-02 whilst still in youth rugby.
He started out playing on the wing, and some players recall him playing for the 1st XV up in Nantyglo that season, and it was clear then that he had great qualities, even at such a young age that would serve him well in his rugby career.
The following season he broke into the 1st XV while in his last year of youth rugby, initially playing on the wing, which he detested, before moving into his favoured position in the centre.
He followed his grandfather Peter Bufton in playing for the 1st XV at Bargoed, and although he had the same attributes in terms of strength and power, he was a very different player to Peter, but equally effective.
Under the tutelage of Coach Dai Lynch he honed his skills and quickly developed into one of the most talented players in Bargoed RFC history.
In the early years he continued to play both centre and wing, which was where he played in the Silver Ball Final against Banwen RFC.
However it wasn’t long before this Rolls Royce of centres moved more permanently into the 13 channel where some of his strengths included defence (in the most difficult channel) and running lines.
Darren’s attacking prowess became such a focus of opposition analysis that the move ‘slice blind’ was designed to take advantage of centres jamming in as he took the ball short off 10 before lifting to a blind side wing running into the space created.
Darren has hardly ever had a bad game in the many years that he has represented Bargoed, and with the Bufton genes he was rarely injured.
Despite short stints with Bedwas  Nelson and Neath RFC (where he partnered Dafydd Lockyear) he has remained one of Bargoed RFC’s most consistent servants.
He has never been sent off and enjoyed punishing training sessions (the secret to his longevity) as much as challenging games.
In later years Darren has moved into the 12 shirt where his ability to offload the ball in contact rivalled the best in the game.
Darren had the honour of representing the Wales Amateur side alongside Bargoed RFC colleagues Jamie Howells, Ross Jones, Anthony Lott and Leigh Meades.
He also had the privilege of playing alongside his younger brothers Ryan and Rhys in the 1st XV, partnering Rhys in the centre on many occasions.
He played for Bargoed during the three years that the club played in the Welsh Premiership, where his class was obvious to many opposition players and coaches.
Darren also made it to the Principality Stadium in the 2021-22 season, playing in the National Championship Cup Final, losing narrowly against his old club Neath.
However he tasted success as a key member and leader in the National Championship side that clinched the title that same season.
He has kept himself in great shape and is as well conditioned in 2022 as he was when he made his 1st XV debut back in 2001-02.
These days Darren is also coaching with the Bargoed RFC Mini and Juniors, and is a great role model for his players as a coach, and still remains a role model to the younger players in the 1st XV.
Well done Darren a well deserved reward, to get that special cap even if you still believe you’ve played 500 games.

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