This ran from 1954-1995 and when it was considered that there was no longer time in the rugby calendar to hold the event, the Snelling Trophy was handed back to Newport RFC where it was inaugurated.
Reg Snelling, then Chairman of Newport Athletic Club presented the trophy and Newport led by international wing Ken Jones beat Ebbw Vale 6-0 in the first final at Newport in May 1954. Newport’s team that day was Malcolm Thomas, Malcolm Quarterly, Dick Sheppard, Graham Ross, Ken Jones, Brian J Jones and Roy Burnett.
Bill Everson of Newport played a big part in the organisation of the tournament and when he died in 1966 a “Player of the Tournament” Trophy was introduced to perpetuate his name. Fittingly Newport’s David Watkins was the first ever winner in 1967. Other Newport winners were wingers Steve Pill in 1985 and John Churchill in 1977.
In the early years Newport reigned supreme and won 9 of the first 14 tournaments and runners-up in another 3 Only failing to reach the final in 1960 when scrum half Billy Watkins was injured and in 1964 when Stuart Watkins, David Watkins and Brian Price were on Wales’s tour to South Africa.
1967 saw Cardiff with internationals Gerald Davies and Maurice Richards meet Newport in the final in front of a 40,000 crowd. Newport won 21-15 and David Watkins lifted the trophy and kept his magnificent record of never being on a losing Newport sevens side.
In 1995 the tournament (Worthington Sevens) was held for the last time and the Snelling Trophy is held at
Rodney Parade, Newport - its birthplace - for perpetuity.