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Friday, April 20, 2012

Shane Williams hanging up his boots - A farewell documentary

Shane Williams played his final game for Wales in December, and tonight ends his Ospreys career with their last home game of the regular season, against Newport Gwent Dragons. Ahead of the game, we've got this great documentary about his career.

Williams will end his record-breaking career at the Liberty Stadium tonight, where they have already sold over 11 000 tickets. The Ospreys are second on the RaboDirect Pro12 standings so want the win, and would love to give Williams the kind of send-off he deserves.

"All the superlatives have been used up for him," said coach Jonathan Humphreys.

"Suffice to say this group would love to see him go out with a bang because he's been absolutely huge for us. I remember thinking he would never make it when I saw him playing as a kid coming through — he looked too small. But he's proved everyone wrong to be one of the best finishers in the game. I don't think there's been anyone better than him — ever.

"You don't often get a kid who has that much skill and gas and can back it up with a ton of guts. He's been a pleasure to watch and you only have to consider the impact he's had as a world player of the year playing for this region, coming from this region and wanting to finish his career here."

In the documentary below, one of the most complete ever made about the Welsh legend, we get to look back on his humble beginnings as a tiny kid, then follow his rise to prominence in the game, and the struggles he went through along the way.

"It was tough, but I got used to that," Williams says, referring to always being smaller than everybody else. "I didn't take any shit through school, and I don't know. I don't think you can."

It's incredibly candid, with the great man himself talking us through all the way, and it features some fantastic, in some cases, unseen footage. It's almost 30 minutes long, so sit back and enjoy.

Time: 28:55
Credit: The BBC

Posted at 7:42 am | 34 comments

Farewell to Shane Williams - Final Wales try and interviews

Shane Williams flipped in huge double hit vs the Wallabies

Shane Williams' great try saving tackle on big Matt Banahan

Shane Williams sparks life into Ospreys as they beat Toulon

Shane Williams out for 10 weeks after Steyn tackle

Midweek Madness - Shane Williams hurdles Topsy Ojo

Shane Williams great solo try against London Irish

Shane Williams raring to go ahead of the 2010 Six Nations

Shane Williams' 6 tries - British & Irish Lions Tour 2005

Viewing 34 comments

poccio April 20, 2012 8:47 am

epic shane williams is epic!!

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themull April 20, 2012 9:22 am

Great player...Definitely one of the greatest to ever step on the rugby pitch...

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Frankie Rugby April 20, 2012 10:17 am

Absolute legend, great documentary about one of the games greatest players.

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akira April 20, 2012 10:18 am

The biggest of hearts in the tiniest of bodies (rugby-wise tiny i mean). Farewell shane.

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WelshOsprey April 20, 2012 11:39 am

Legend
Retiring too early from club rugby, hes still got another season or two left in him IMO
Sad to see him go but i hear hes playing for the barbarians in the summer?

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Guy April 20, 2012 12:32 pm

Despite his size one of the biggest legends of the game. He broughts me to tears after the Autralia game last year.

Epic figure. He does every rugby player in the world proud!

Good luck Shane, thanks for everything!

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sithepie April 20, 2012 2:09 pm

Even though I'm an England fan, for me Shane Williams will always be one of the greatest ever wingers. What a player, what a man.

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orca April 20, 2012 2:22 pm

Going to miss him hes en awesome player. and someone i look up to!

LOVE you Shane!

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stroudos April 20, 2012 2:57 pm

30mins on Ickle Shane's career - looking forward to this. *Puts kettle on*

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stroudos April 20, 2012 3:50 pm

Well that was awesome. Says it all that you can watch a full 30 minutes and it flies past in a flash.

A truly inspirational character and it was great to get this insight into his background. I like the bit with Scott Williams about the Argentine fullback: "Never seen a tackle missed by such a large degree!" - mind you, Bryan Habana sliding across the turf on his arse was probably close, (great to see Habana has a sense of humour about that too BTW).

Five mins in I was thinking WHY did he not want to leave that grief-hole where he grew up? (No offence intended to anyone from there or similar places!). But it quickly becomes clear that being so grounded kept him going through the bad times.

Got to say also, there are some quality accents on here- best one must be his mum's: "He's juuust a nooooormaaaal booooy from the vall- eeeeeeeeeeee"...

I wonder if we'll see any more players of his physical stature at the top level. That Marc Andreu was bucking the trend but seems to have fallen out of favour. Look at the Wales wings now - a 6ft 3" monster on one wing and a 6ft 4" monster on the other... Stuart Hogg's relatively small and a devastating runner - maybe he'll keep the flag flying for the littluns.

And will we see such a lethal side-step or general agility? That William Ryder might have been even more elusive but not sure he'd have hacked the XV-a-side game as well as Ickle Shane.

Anyway, great video, thanks for sharing Mr Dump. And let's hope Shane can bow out of club rugby tonight with a similar fairytale ending to his last international match...

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Guy April 20, 2012 8:33 pm

I was under the impression that Medard and Clerc of France were about the same height. But they are 5ft10/1.78 and 5ft11 1.80 respectively. Whereas Shane measures 5ft7/1.70, all according to wiki.

I fear that in 10 years from now it will be clear that he is even more unique than we regard him now. He might just be the last of a kind.

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stroudos April 20, 2012 9:32 pm

Another exception to the rule would be Gio Aplon: 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in) 78 kg (172 lb; 12 st 4 lb)

But Marc Andreu really is small: 1.65 m (5 ft 5 in), 75 kg. But haven't seen him playing for France recently...

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kadova April 21, 2012 12:09 am

Marc Andreu is 1m71 (5'7) and has played in the 2010 6Nations because other wingers were injuried.
Not a bad player at all but we have better wingers than him, hence you don't see him playing for Les Bleus at the moment.

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Guy April 21, 2012 9:06 am

T put in in perspective: my 12 year old son has a 12 year old, 1.60 meter long prop/hooker in his teams that allready weighs in at 82 kilo's!!!!!!!!!!!!! Burly, bit overweight, hard to tackle and allready able to hurt grown-ups in training.

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Pretzel April 21, 2012 9:33 am

"my 12 year old son has a 12 year old"

Impressive, sounds like the hormones kicked in early in that one... :p

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j8a1f3 April 21, 2012 12:52 pm

Matthew Morgan at the Ospreys looks a very similar player in terms of his sense of space. He's only about 5'8 and 11st at the moment.

I question whether there's room for a 10 of his size at international level and he does need to work on his defence. He'll still likely to be a great club player if not a Welsh international.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhKUG8nv49g

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Grant April 20, 2012 4:54 pm

unique in every way what a great role model to kids, a inspiration to teenagers and a brilliant example to all us grown ups.

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Nick April 20, 2012 5:58 pm

I like him a lot more now that he's retired. He had a nasty habit of scoring with alarming regularity against my teams. Here's to a true rugby legend: irreplaceable and unforgettable.

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Munster rugby April 20, 2012 6:32 pm

that was great, legend Shane, it even made me cry, love it!!!

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Dan April 20, 2012 10:23 pm

A quality player, devastating with ball in hand. Played rugby the way it should be played. He'd always be in my World XV.

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Stefan April 20, 2012 10:39 pm

I've been waiting all day to be able to take the time to sit down and watch this, and I'm not disappointed. Brilliantly put together piece that probably could have been 10x longer and still enjoyable!

The only sad thing about stories like his that are so good is that you wonder if you'll ever see the likes of Shane again in the near future of rugby... But I'll try not to be too pessimistic and just enjoy the rugby on offer at the moment!

Thanks, RD, for the post.

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beerholder April 21, 2012 7:15 pm

I'm sure we will, Stefan. 10 years from now we'll probably watch a documentary about what a great player James O'Connor was :)

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Juggernauter April 20, 2012 11:55 pm

Awesome, awesome, awesome... Simply epitomises everything that's great about rugby. We'll miss you. Dearly.

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kadova April 21, 2012 12:13 am

Thanks RD for such an awesome doc !
Shaney is one of my favourites players. Even when he scored against my team, i loved it.
The last try at the last match was so brilliant. And what a perfect way to say his farewell.

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Canadian content April 21, 2012 12:32 am

Brilliant, god Steve Hansen was a bit of an ass ehh? Let's sit a future legend because he doesn't fit the mold. Easily one of my favorite atheletes, a pretty defender at times too, not wih big hits but smart play. Jason rObinson was even shorter I think. Good Coaches will always look for someone who can break the gain line, the little guys who can will prevail

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sdre April 21, 2012 2:10 am

You can't blame Steve Hansen really, no player is above the team. (that said, Hansen probably wanted his team to play long ball against tonga etc) But Shane's one of the great for sure. Glad he got his chance and shone!

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Pretzel April 21, 2012 5:59 am

Honestly I have never been a massive fan of Williams. I found he had a bit of an attitude on the pitch which I didn't like, however I think this video has explained why/how etc being the smallest guy he has got the scrum half attitude, but on a winger its unexpected.

He is without a doubt a brilliant player! One of those guys you don't want to see playing well against your team but can't help think "wow" when he produces some magic...

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beerholder April 21, 2012 7:13 pm

The vid brought me to tears, I only wish more documentaries are made about the players or the matches of this great sport.

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Jeffro18 April 22, 2012 1:53 am

Looks promising RugbyDump but is there the possibility that you can make this viewable worldwide as I can't view this in Australia. Many thanks!

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Rugbydump April 22, 2012 10:41 am

Hi Jeffro18, there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to view it there. Are you getting an error of some sort? If you have further problems please get in touch via email and we'll help out if possible. Thanks

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SCHULL KRUSHER April 22, 2012 4:07 am

Good piece, great player. Thanks RD

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vaiz April 22, 2012 12:17 pm

Great love and Respect to you Shane all the way from Apia Samoa.

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tenbywill April 22, 2012 9:14 pm

Thanks for posting this, I didn't get to see it in England as it was only televised at home in Wales! I for one will miss the shouts of "pass the ball out, give the ball to SHANE!" he is a living legend and the likes of North and Halfpenny have a great big pair of shoes to fill!

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Abracan August 09, 2012 7:49 pm

Curious I'd anyone is able to get the soundtrack to bbc production?

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