J. P. R. Williams

John Peter Rhys Williams (born 2 March 1949 in Cardiff ), commonly known by the abbreviation JPR Williams, is a former Welsh rugby union player and played 1969-1981 for the Welsh national team. Many consider him one of the best full backs of all time.

Especially his tough defense was famous, but he also possessed great skill, great speed and agility in attack. Since he was also a good kicker, there was no " weak point " in his game. In a time when it was not considered appropriate in rugby union circles to say that one should Rugby League was JPR Williams one of the few that dealt with the other code. He stated that his brief kicks based on rugby league technology.

Williams gave up coaxing his father to the sport of tennis and played rugby, which was still an amateur sport, in order to pursue a career in medicine can. His obvious skills fell to 1969 and quickly, at the age of 19, he made ​​his international debut for Wales. Overall, this he was honored 55 times, plus he played eight times for the Lions. His club rugby he played for Bridgend and London Welsh.

There were many highlights in his career: he was a key player in the Welsh national team, in 1971, 1976 and 1978 won the Grand Slam. Especially in the games against England he shone: In ten games he scored his team's five tries and never lost. Also for the British Lions, he filled an important role in: 1971, on the victorious tour to New Zealand, he scored a drop -goal from a great distance. Three years later, in South Africa, he was part of the undefeated Lions team.

Many stories are told about his legendary toughness.

In the aforementioned Lions tour to South Africa, the team had the infamous 99 call as a signal for the whole team to start a brawl developed (see also British and Irish Lions ). When the call came in the game in Boet Erasmus Stadium, JPR ran across half the pitch and beat Johannes van Heerden, a lot larger and heavier second row forward, unconscious. Later this meant to Williams, this was the best punch he ever got ( "the finest punch he had ever received" ).

Due to an injury crisis during the Welsh tour to Australia in 1978 he had in the last international game instead of playing on the final position as a flanker. Although it was expected that he would not cope with the harsh physical demands that this position, he played impressive.

In the same year, in a game of Bridgend against the All Blacks, he was kicked on the ground of an open scrimmage by the opposing Prop John Ashworth, which tore a hole in his cheek. Unimpressed left Williams, a trained surgeon, the court, was sewing the wound itself to match.

In 1981 he ended his international career and continued to work as an orthopedic surgeon. In club rugby he was active for many more years during the 1980s and 1990s as a player.