Ronnie Cowan

Birth Place
British & Irish Lions RU
Heritage Number


Debut: Vs Doncaster (H) 22nd September 1962

Honours: Championship (Winner: 1969; Finalist: 1970), Challenge Cup (Finalist : 1971), League Leader’s Shield (1966, 1969, 1970, 1971), Yorkshire Cup (Winner: 1968, 1970)


Ronnie Cowan switched codes to join Leeds in 1962 and was a major coup for the club having just toured with the British & Irish Lions.

Originally from Selkirk, a winger in Rugby Union, he made his name at Headingley as a centre. He had been capped five times for Scotland before getting the call up for the Lions playing in the final Test, crossing for try in the 34-14 loss. That was his final appearance in Union before moving to Leeds.

He made his debut for the Loiners on 22nd September 1962 and would go on to make 233 appearances in blue and amber, crossing for 119 tries in the process. In the Championship winning season of 1968-69, he made 24 appearances in all competitions, scoring 19 tries.

For the Odsal Championship Final, Leeds maintained faith with the back division that had turned out against Salford in the semi final, Ronnie Cowan’s nine tries in a ten-match spell warranting his retention on the right wing, even though Alan Smith was available after injury. Cowan crossed for the opening try of the game against Castleford, when he was on hand to support Hynes and go over in the corner to make it 5-2. A further try from John Atkinson and four goals from Bev Risman sealed the win for Leeds, who took the Championship title home, winning 16-14.

The year after, Cowan was part of the Leeds side that reached the Championship final once again, scoring in the 24-12 loss to St Helens, and then the 1971 Challenge Cup final loss to Leigh. He finished his Leeds career at the end of 1972, joining Hull.