World Rugby Hall of Fame - Induction No.97 - John ‘Johnnie’ Lewis Williams (Cardiff, Wales and British and Irish Lions) 1882-1916

One of 25 legends inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame at Wembley Stadium, London, on 20 September, 2015.

Born: 3 January, 1882
Died: 12 July, 1916

Born in Whitchurch, a neighbourhood of Cardiff, Williams started playing at his local club Cowbridge Grammar School before being selected by Cardiff RFC as a wing three-quarter. He celebrated his first team debut in 1903 with a hat-trick of tries.

Williams became a regular feature in the formidable Cardiff team of the era and was elected captain of the club for the 1909-10 season. He was on the winning Cardiff side against both the 1906 Springboks and 1908 Wallabies and became a regular feature of the Welsh XV who won three Triple Crowns during the first decade of the 20th century. He made his international debut against South Africa in 1906, and although Wales lost, the selectors retained him for a further 16 matches.

Blessed with a devastating sidestep and blistering pace he was a remarkably proficient try-scorer with 17 tries in as many tests. He was only twice on the losing side in his international career and captained his country against France in 1911. In 1908 he was a member of the Anglo-Welsh ‘Lions’ captained by Arthur Harding.

He served as a Captain with the 38th Welsh Infantry Division and was killed in action during the Battle of Somme.