Full name John Peter Rhys Williams
Born March 2, 1949, Cardiff
Current age 65 years 362 days
Major teams British and Irish Lions, World XV, Wales, Wales XV
|British and Irish Lions||1971-1974||8||8||0||3||0||0||0||1||0||5||1||2||75.00|
|Test debut||Scotland v Wales at Murrayfield, Feb 1, 1969 match details|
|Last Test||Scotland v Wales at Murrayfield, Feb 7, 1981 match details|
|Test Statsguru||Main menu | Career summary | Match list | Most points | Most tries | Tournament list|
John Peter Rhys Williams is revered the world over as one of, if not the, finest fullbacks ever to come out of the northern hemisphere. Known in the rugby world simply as 'JPR', originally in order to differentiate between him and another John Williams, Wales winger JJ, he was fiercely competitive in defence and a precise and willing runner when joining the line.
Making his Wales debut in 1969 against Scotland at Murrayfield, Williams would go on to win 55 caps for Wales before his retirement in 1981. During his career he became part of the golden generation of Welsh rugby, winning Five Nations Grand Slams in 1971, 1976 and 1978 alongside the likes of Barry John, Gareth Edwards, Phil Bennett, Derek Quinnell, Gerald Davies et al.
A keen tennis player in his youth, Williams chose to pursue the then amateur game of rugby as it allowed him to further his career as an orthopaedic surgeon. His decision was rugby's gain, as he went on not only to star in a Welsh jersey but also for the British and Irish Lions.
Williams scored the winning drop-goal against New Zealand in 1971 to give the Lions their first, and currently only, series success against the All Blacks before touring with the 1974 "invincibles" in South Africa.
At club level he was a servant of both London Welsh and Bridgend, for whom he was the victim of a horrific face-stamp from All Black John Ashworth in 1978. The wound on his cheek required 30 stitches, administered on the touchline by his father, but Williams returned to the field and finished the game.
Following his retirement in 1981 Williams returned to his job as a surgeon, leaving behind treasured memories for all those that ever saw him defend his line with feverish commitment for both Wales and the Lions.
Scrum Staff January 2009