Sport Rugby

Sunday 4 December 2016

Welsh wizard Williams will be sorely missed

Published 03/12/2011 | 05:00

This afternoon at the Millennium Stadium, Shane Williams will make his 87th and final appearance for Wales.

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It is the end of an era. The world of international rugby will be poorer for the loss of one of the truly great entertainers; a player who defied the principle of kicking instead of running.

Gerald Davies was the most exciting attacking player around when I was growing up.

He was followed closely by Ieuan Evans in terms of style and panache, plus that innate ability to step off either foot at full tilt. Williams had all of that and perhaps a little bit more given the era of fear-ridden defence in which he played.

Fifty-seven tries in 87 Test appearances represents a remarkable strike rate -- a phenomenal achievement by a phenomenal player. What I admired about him more than anything was his willingness to give it a go from anywhere.

He is a role model for every aspiring wing, in terms of his ability and desire to sniff out ball. The great players are able to make time and space and attract the ball like a magnet. Williams will be remembered as just that: the magnetic winger supreme.

Irish Independent

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