Arthur Boucher was again captain in 1896-97 which was a good season with only 4 matches lost. The retirement of Harry Packer and Wallace Watts weakened the side and Arthur Gould only played 13 games (scoring 7t and 9dg) but captained Wales to victory over England in his 27th match for Wales. This game was played at Rodney Parade on 9th January 1897, Wales 11pts England Nil. W. Groves retired before the end of the season. Wallace Watts was the outstanding forward and Arthur Gould led the scoring with Bert Dauncey scoring 13t and Tom Pearson 11t. T. Saunders (27) and G. Ll. Lloyd (26), J. Jenkins (26), and A. Sawtell (26) led the appearances.
With the abandonment of the international between Ireland and Wales one interesting extra event during the season was reported by the Western Mail on 20th March 1897.
"In consequence of the cancelling of the Irish international match, Newport has no fixture today, and will, therefore, give a bit of by-way in another direction. The fun of the afternoon is devoted to a match under socker [sic] rules between a team which will be picked by Mr. Bowness, a captain of a regular Association eleven, and a Rugby team. The exhibition with the final between the Caerleon Industrial School and Maindee Board School for the Newport Schools Cup will be in aid of the funds of the new hospital."
It reported separately.
"NEWPORT RUGBY PLAYERS v NEWPORT ASSOCIATION PLAYERS"
"To be played as a charity Association match in aid of Newport new hospital. The Rugby team is as follows: - Goal, H. Packer or T. C. Graham; backs, R. L. Thomas and F. H. Dauncey; half-backs, G. Jones, T. Saunders and E. W. Porter; forwards, left wing, G. Ll. Lloyd; inside left, Mat Hannan; centre, T. W. Pearson; inside right, J. Jenkins; right wing, A. W Boucher. The Association team will be chosen by Bowness, the captain."