Sir Bryan Williams inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame     10 Aug 2018    


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 Maori and 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.

This year’s inductees will be honoured at a special ceremony in Rugby, England, on 12 September. The ceremony will be held at the state-of-the-art physical home of the Hall of Fame, which celebrates the inspirational journey of the game from its humble origins to its global present, played by millions of men, women and children.

O’Gara, Villepreux, Williams and Burgess will attend the prestigious event, which will celebrate their careers and contributions to the game. Larkham, due to his involvement in The Rugby Championship, will receive his accolade at a special ceremony on 17 August in Sydney, the day before Australia’s Bledisloe Cup opener with New Zealand. 

These five inductees bring the total in the Hall of Fame to 142 since it began in 2006.

World Rugby Chairman and Hall of Fame inductee Bill Beaumont said: “The World Rugby Hall of Fame importantly acknowledges and celebrates the true legends of the game, celebrating those who have made outstanding contributions throughout their careers while embodying rugby’s values. 

“On behalf of the rugby family we would like to congratulate this year’s five new inductees, Stephen Larkham, Ronan O’Gara, Pierre Villepreux, Byran Williams and Liza Burgess as they are recognised and honoured for their immense contributions to rugby.

“Each have left their mark on the sport and through their achievements and character, inspired millions to play and support rugby worldwide, and we look forward to honouring them in the coming weeks.”

Fellow World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee and Chairman of the Hall of Fame panel John Eales said: “It is an honour to recognise the contribution of our newest inductees who, over different eras, have inspired generations of rugby players and supporters. Through their induction, they represent the many thousands of men and women who have made our game great.”

World Rugby Hall of Fame 2018 inductees:
• Stephen Larkham (Australia), Inductee No.138
• Ronan O’Gara (Ireland), Inductee No.139
• Pierre Villepreux (France), Inductee No.140
• Bryan Williams (New Zealand), Inductee No.141
• Liza Burgess (Wales), Inductee No.142