Newport captain in 1952-53 having led side in 1950-51 in Ken Jones' absence (only 2 games lost in neither of which Roy played). Unlucky only to win 1 Wales cap (vs England, Lost 3 v 8 in 17th January 1953, partnering Newport scrum-half Billy Williams - his greatest moment) but had to compete against Cliff Morgan. Played for Newport vs 1952 South Africans, 1954 New Zealanders and 1957 on left wing vs Australia (Won 11 v 0). Turned down three thousand pounds offerred by Huddersfield Rugby League. Good cricketer. Profession an Eegineering fitter. Nickname :Twinkle(toes).
Brother Doug (Cross Keys centre) killed in 1950 Llandow air disaster. Doug and three other brothers and his father also played for Abercarn.
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Under the column 'Moments of Rugby Pride' the following article appeared in the match programme for Newport v Penarth 9th January 1993:-
"WONDER BOY'S" ONE CAP .. ."
2They called Roy Burnett, Newport Rugby Club's brilliant outside half of The Sixties, the "one cap wonder". That description did not flatter him, for match after match his dazzling adventurous moves bewitched Newport's opponents, and caused the spectators to condemn the Welsh selectors for not picking him more often!"
"His solitary international appearance was against England at Cardiff Arms Park in 1953, and as he looks back on his sparkling career he is able to recall very many incidents and events which gave him moments of pride. But when I asked him what he considered was his greatest moment of pride he replied: "It must be taking the field for Wales against the powerful England team for my one and only Welsh Cap"."
"Wales lost that match by eight points to three, but Burnett certainly could not be blamed for that defeat by the Englishmen, who went on to win the international championship through victories over Scotland and France and a draw with Ireland."
"Wales fielded five other new caps, but all Burnett's colleagues failed to produce their usual form against Nim Hall's talented team, and even John Gwilliam, who was leading Wales for the 13th time, was dropped for the next match."
"Burnett had to compete with Cliff Morgan for further international honours, but although he overshadowed him in many club matches, the Cardiff player found most favour with the Welsh selectors, despite Burnett's succession of outstanding performances for Newport, for whom he proved one of the biggest, if not biggest box office attraction they have ever had!"
"Newport had other stars in their team during the Burnett era, but it was Burnett the crowds flocked to see in action. As for his opponents, their bewilderment was such that some of them usually detailed two men to shadow him, though not with much success!"
"The performances of Morgan and Burnett against the South Africans back in 1951-2 remain evergreen in my memory. Morgan could not escape the clutches of Springbok flank forward Basie Van Wyk in the international, and could only resort to some aimless kicking. The following month it was Burnett's turn to show what he could do against the marauding Van Wyk, and he did so in his elusive style and was able to distinguish himself with astute tactical kicking."
" "One cap wonder"? . . . Yes, indeed, Burnett was, though I would go beyond that and describe him as "One of the Welsh rugby wonders of all times"!"