Stephen Andrew Williams
- 615Wallaby Number
Steve Williams was a towering, big scrummaging lock, an excellent lineout jumper in his own right and surprisingly fast in the open.
A genuine powerhouse in the second row Williams was also the vice captain of the Eighth Wallabies who in 1984 won the ‘Grand Slam’ on their tour of the British Isles. A quiet authority, Williams commanded respect from his teammates as he led by example. Forever the hard man of the Wallaby pack he was much more than simply a hatchet man. In the 1982 2nd Test, 19-16 victory over New Zealand in Wellington, Williams was the ninth and second last pair of hands in a 60 metre movement that set up David Campese to score one of the great Australian team tries.
Born in Narromine, New South Wales, Williams learnt his rugby at the great rugby nursery that is St Joseph’s College, Hunters Hill and from there won selection for Australian Schools in 1975 and again in 1976. His first taste of senior representative football came in 1979 when he debuted firstly for Sydney against Victoria and then a year later for New South Wales against Queensland.
In 1980 he was chosen on the short Wallaby tour to Fiji where he made his Test debut in Suva. He retained his place for the home series against New Zealand but had his jaw broken by Mark ‘Cowboy’ Shaw. The Eighth Wallabies tour to Britain in 1984 was a pinnacle of Williams’ career. Mark Ella said that the decision by Alan Jones to make Williams the senior forward was the best thing that could have happened as he rose to the responsibility and really drove the forwards.
It is written that Williams never played a more dominating Test than in the 16-9 victory over the Irish at Lansdowne Road where his scrummaging, work-rate and loose play was first class. Critically some of his jumping was sensational which took the pressure from his partner Steve Cutler. With the option of Steve Tynman at the back the Australian lineout was complete. In 1985 Williams became the 59th Wallaby to captain before he retired from the game at the end of the year.
Steve Williams played 28 Tests for Australia, five as captain, in his six-year international career.
Represented Australian Schools on their tour of New Zealand.
Represented Australian Schools against Sydney Colts.
Williams won his first Test cap at lock alongside fellow debutant Mick Mathers in the 16-3 victory over Fiji in Suva. He played in the opening two Tests of the Bledisloe Cup series but broke his jaw on Mark Shaw’s fist and missed the 3rd Test in Sydney.
He was capped in both home Tests against France and won selection on the Seventh Wallabies’ tour of Britain. Tony Shaw and his Queensland partner Peter McLean locked the scrum in the opening three Tests before Williams was recalled for the final international against England.
Duncan Hall and McLean were the locks for the two Test home series against Scotland. With McLean among the nine Queenslanders who made themselves unavailable for the tour of New Zealand, Williams played in each of the three Tests - the first two with Hall and the 3rd alongside Parramatta’s Phil Clements.
Williams played all seven Tests, six as the starting lock, and one - the 1st Test against Argentina - as a replacement for David Codey. He scored his first Test try in the 29-7 victory over Italy in Rovigo.
He didn’t tour to Fiji but then started in the remaining seven Tests in partnership with Steve Cutler, three against the All Blacks and the four matches on the Grand Slam tour to Britain.
Williams captained Australia in all five Tests of the season - Canada (2), New Zealand and Fiji (2).