Ian Malcolm Williams
- 664Wallaby Number
Ian Williams was a slight winger who possessed blinding speed and became one of the most prolific try scorers in Wallaby history. Born in Sydney and educated at both Epping Boys’ High School and The Cranbrook School, Williams was a fine all-round athlete outside of rugby. He played for the Australian U19s in baseball and he won the Combined Associated Schools 100 metres sprint crown with a time of 10.8 seconds. Williams toured with Australian Schools in his final year and then linked up the Eastwood club before a piece of luck saw him join the Wallabies Grand Slam tour of 1984.
Not originally included in the touring party Williams received a call-up after Brendan Moon broke his arm against England. While he did not win a Test cap it was said by those that saw him during the tour’s uncapped fixtures that Williams played the finest rugby of his life. He toured New Zealand with the Bledisloe Cup-winning Australian side of 1986 but again did not play in the Tests. In 1987 he went to South America and scored nine tries in four games, a performance that ensured him a Test debut against Argentina in Buenos Aires.
In that match Williams more than justified his selection when he scored a stunning try after just four minutes. From a scrum on halfway halfback Brian Smith sent the ball right to fly half Stephen James who fed Michael Lynagh at 12. Lynagh threw a double cut pass to Williams who was 60 metres from the try-line. Williams took off, stepped left, right, left, right and left again to stand up Puma fullback Rafael Madero and then burn him on the outside over the final 25 metres to score his first Test try.
Ian Williams played a total of 17 Tests and scored 10 tries in his four-year international career. His strike rate of a try in every 1.7 Tests ranks fourth all-time for Australia behind Roland ‘Pup’ Raymond, Matt Burke and David Campese. In his 25 uncapped matches for Australia Williams scored 26 tries. In 1993 Williams played one Test for Japan against Wales and, not surprisingly, scored a try.
Selected on the Australian Schools tour of Ireland and the U.K.
Represented Australian U21s when they defeated New Zealand U21s 26-18.
Represented Australian U21s when they defeated New Zealand Colts 12-10
Williams won his first Test cap as the starting right wing in the 1st Test, 19-19 draw with Argentina in Buenos Aires. He scored his first Test try to become the 64th Wallaby to score a try on debut. A week later he retained his spot in the 2nd Test, 19-27 loss, also in Buenos Aires.
Williams started at No.14 in all five home Tests against England (2) and New Zealand (3).
Williams earned a further five caps, all on the right wing, in the 2nd and 3rd Tests against the Lions, New Zealand (1) and France (2). Represented Australia at the Hong Kong 7s.
Williams played his final five Tests against France (3), the United States (1) and the 1st Test against New Zealand.