BRIAN “STACK” STEVENS
Stack Stevens who passed away last Tuesday was one of the finest rugby players from the Duchy of Cornwall to have played the game.
He was an extremely strong and athletic player for a prop forward. He had the physique and features that seemed to have been chiselled form Cornwall’s granite. He played 83 times for Cornwall, 25 times for England and was called up to the British Lions squad in 1971 to replace Scot Sandy Carmichael who had been so badly done over in a provincial game that it had ended his tour.
Stack played a full part in that historic tour but sadly never made the Test side.
He was a great character, which endeared him to the Cornish. In many ways as a player he was ahead of his time such was his dedication to training in his own way. There was always a great buzz at Camborne or Redruth when Stack played for Cornwall.
Stack was first capped for England against South Africa in 1969 a game that saw England defeat the Springboks for the first time ever 11-8.
Photo: Stack on the end seated at Twickenham for England
His test career saw him become, at that time, the most capped Cornish man, surpassing fellow Pirate John Kendall Carpenter’s 23 caps.
The highlight of his International career must be apart from the win against South Africa at Twickenham the success on South African soil in 1972 when England won 18-9 in Johannesburg and then a year later, when England surprised New Zealand 16-10 in Auckland with Stack scoring one of England’s three tries that day. Video of try
Stack was comfortable with the ball in hand, if you look back at many of the England games of that period up to 1975 Stack was inevitably involved often providing the final scoring pass.
For Cornwall he had many great games and played in the 1969 County Final at Redruth when Cornwall lost 11-9 to Lancashire, having led 9-0 at half-time. He was part of a mighty front row unit alongside Redruth’s “Bonzo” Johns and Penryn hooker Roger Harris, and then alongside Redruth prop Terry Pryor and Camborne hooker John Trevorrow.
Photo Stack in the maul having a chat with Roger Corin
Stack captained Cornwall for two seasons from 1973-75, but sadly it wasn’t a golden period for the county side.
Very much a Penzance & Newlyn man, Stack had to play in London for a while at Harlequins to cement his England place, but his heart was always in Cornwall and he was in the Pirates’ side that famously won the Cornwall Knock Out cup in 1976 4-3 against Redruth in the final.
Photo: Cornwall side that played Lancashire 1969
Stack was also a Barbarian having played on the Easter Tour of Wales in 1970 and the Mobbs Memorial match in 1971.
After ending his playing days Stack became an England selector for a few seasons.
Photo: Cornwall side at Redruth
Trelawny’s Army sends it deepest condolences to Jane, John and Sam at this sad time.