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WORLD RUGBY HALL OF FAME – INDUCTEE NO.141 – BRYAN WILLIAMS
Born: 3 October, 1950 in Auckland, New Zealand
Knighted for his services to rugby in 2018, the 10th New Zealander to be so bestowed, Bryan Williams is widely considered to be one of his country’s greatest-ever players.
Born in Auckland but of Samoan descent, Williams was the first Polynesian player to represent the All Blacks, well over two decades before Jonah Lomu and company left their indelible mark on the game.
Built like a forward but with also blessed with plenty of pace, the physically imposing winger was a nightmare to defend against, as the Springboks found out in 1970. Chosen to tour apartheid South Africa as “an honorary white”, Williams scored 14 tries in 13 appearances
By the time he retired after New Zealand’s 1978 Grand Slam tour of the UK and Ireland, Williams had 66 tries to his name from 113 matches, 38 of them tests.
Williams was also a four-time winner of the Ranfurly Shield with Auckland as well as helping his province to their maiden NPC first division title triumph in 1982.
A lawyer by trade, Williams won further honours with Ponsonby and Auckland as a coach and masterminded Samoa’s famous triumph over Wales at Rugby World Cup 1999 before teaming up with Graham Mourie at the Hurricanes.
Williams was appointed President of the New Zealand Rugby Union in 2011.
Inducted in September 2018
Photo: New Zealand Rugby