John Devereux burst into rugby’s big-time as a 19-year-old student when he terrorised a Cardiff team packed with Lions and Wales stars for his South Glam Institute side in a Welsh Cup tie.
Devs' powerful piston-pump hand-off saw him nicknamed the 'Dalek' and two months later, in January 1986, he was making his Wales debut against England. He was one of the stars of the 1987 union World Cup as Wales finished third, the nation’s highest ever position in the tournament, and appeared for the British and Irish Lions before being lured to rugby league by a big-money offer exceeding £350,000.
Devereux was a huge hit for Widnes, playing 185 games and scoring 120 tries, and Manly Sea Eagles in Australia, and became a dual-code international - scoring six tries in eight games for Great Britain, and three tries in 12 games for Wales RL. He was also the last Wales union international to appear in a RL World Cup final when he lined up for Great Britain against Australia at Wembley in 1993.
Held in the highest regard by former teammates and opponents alike, John Devereux is revered by followers of rugby league and rugby union and, in his official biography, Devs, tells the fascinating story of his life in rugby.
Andy Howell was a student at South Glamorgan Institute with John Devereux in the 1980s before becoming a journalist with the South Wales Argus and then the rugby correspondent for the Western Mail for over 20 years.