Chris Williams

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Chris Williams' page

Powerful outside half capped by England in 1976

By John Theyers

Chris Williams was an outside half who played 101 games for Gloucester from 1975 to 1979, scoring 27 tries. He was capped once for England and 20 times for Gloucestershire and played for Western Counties against the Australians. Williams played for Gloucester in their 1978 cup final win over Leicester and for Gloucestershire in two County Championship Finals. He also played for Lydney, St Pauls College Cheltenham, Headingley and the RAF.

Christopher Gareth Williams was born on 21 December 1950 in Pontypridd. He was educated at Magdalen College School, Oxford and Lydney Grammar School and played rugby for England Schools. Chris went on to play club rugby for Lydney and for St Pauls College before joining the RAF. He played for the RAF in the Inter-Services tournament at Twickenham on a number of occasions between 1973 and 1977.

In 1974-75 while stationed at Catterick, he played for Headingley in a back division that contained British Lion Ian McGeechan, England international John Spencer and future England internationals David Caplan and Mike Lampkowski. Chris made his debut for Gloucestershire while still with Headingley and played in the county’s semi final win over Warwickshire at Kingsholm on February 22 1975 but, although selected, had to withdraw from the Final against Eastern Counties due to appendicitis. He played for Gloucestershire in a win over England Under 23 at the end of that season.

He played regularly for Headingley in the first two months of the 1975-76 season, but joined Gloucester in November. Three days after playing for Western Counties in the centre against Australia at Bristol he made his debut for the club in a 23-6 victory over OxfordUniversity at Kingsholm.

1975-76 was perhaps Chris Williams’ most successful season. A regular now for both Gloucester and Gloucestershire, he resumed an outstanding half back partnership with Peter Kingston with whom he had already played for Lydney Grammar School, England Schools, Lydney and St Paul’s College. He played throughout the season for the county, culminating in the final against Middlesex at Richmond, which Gloucestershire won 24-9.  Peter West, reporting in the Times on the semi final win against Lancashire, summed up his play that season “Christopher Williams, a big robust standoff with a powerful boot, excellent hands and a mind of his own contributed much to a telling Gloucestershire advantage at half back.” His success was recognized with a cap for England against France in Paris.

There was further success in 1976-77. He opened by playing for Gloucestershire against Japan at Kingsholm and again played for the county throughout the season. He made 39 appearances for Gloucester.

In 1977-78 Chris Williams, now in partnership with Paul Howell, was an integral part of the Gloucester team that played unchanged through all five rounds of the John Player Cup, beating Leicester 6-3 in the final at Twickenham. He also played for the county in their semi final win over Kent at Blackheath in partnership with Peter Kingston.

Notable features of his final 1978-79 season were selection for Gloucestershire v the President’s XV in the County Union centenary match and partnering Peter Kingston again in a 38-3 win for the county over Somerset in which The Times said Gloucestershire played “exhilarating 15 man Rugby.”

 

This page was added by John Theyers on 22/02/2010.

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.