World Cup Heroes: Shane Williams

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These days it seems the tag ‘legend’ is often bandied about somewhat unnecessarily. But every once in a while you see a player of genuine class, someone who has performed year after year for both club and country that is deserving of the title. Shane Williams is one such player.

In fact, it’s difficult to find a more fitting adjective for the diminutive and dangerous winger when you take a quick glance at his career statistics. Since 2003, PUMA’s Shane Williams has notched up over 250 points in club rugby and made a seamless transition to the international stage, becoming Wales’ leading try-scorer back in 2008 when he nabbed his 41st try in 56 Test appearances. This also worked out extremely well for Shane’s father, Mark, who claimed £25,000 as a result of a £50 bet he placed ten years previously on his son becoming Wales’ number one try-scorer!! Three years later and the Welsh wonder is still adding to his impressive haul, and as we saw last week against the Irish, when Shane has the ball in hand, good things happen!

He has been described as one of the most exciting players in world rugby and is known for his deadly side-step, rapid acceleration and uncanny ability to find space through defences. In the era of six-foot-plus giants dominating the game, it’s refreshing to see a player like Shane standing proud at five-foot-seven come along and not just break the mould, but completely smash it.

Still, things could have turned out a lot differently for Shane - and Wales! Perhaps the best-known little-known fact about Williams is that he used to play at scrum-half, and it was only after moving to Neath that he moved out wide and discovered the try-scoring ability that has made him one of the first names on the Welsh team sheet.

Can Shane get Wales over the line and into the World Cup final this weekend?

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