Sunday, November 02, 2008
While we strive to bring you the best action from the present, one of our core goals is creating a rugby archive that encompasses all the great moments from the past as well. That includes looking back on legends of years gone by. On this occasion, that legend is JPR Williams.
A name synonymous with Welsh rugby of the 1970s, JPR was a multi talented sportsman who achieved great things in tennis at a young age. Despite that success, he chose to instead continue his medical studies, while playing rugby, which was then as we know, strictly an amateur game.
Tennis loss was rugbys gain as John Peter Rhys Williams thrilled fans in a career spanning over ten years. His trademark sideburns and cavalier style made him one of the most recognisable figures in sport.
Tough as nails, JPR had a habit of making crunching tackles on opponents who would normally have otherwise scored. Defensively sound, he was also an incredibly exciting runner with ball in hand.
In a twelve year period, JPR helped Wales to six Triple Crowns and three Grand Slams. He has an unbeaten record against England, and took part in British & Irish Lions wins over New Zealand and South Africa.
In total, with much less rugby played back then, he tallied up 55 caps for Wales and 8 for the British Lions. In a time when your day job put food on the table, Williams unfortunately had to rule himself out of the 1977 Lions tour so he could concentrate on upcoming surgeons exams.
This short clip shows us some fairly rare footage of JPRs best bits of action on the rugby field. Hell forever be remembered as a great of the game who played in, and contributed to a wonderful era of Welsh rugby.
Song: Bonzo Goes to Bitburg by The Ramones