Iconic Wales winger JJ Williams, 72, has died

Rugby

JJ Williams, one of Wales’ and the British and Irish Lions’ greatest ever wingers, has died at the age of 72.

Williams was central to both teams success in the mid-to-late 1970s, helping Wales to Grand Slams in 1976 and 1978, and four Triple Crowns between 1976 and 1979.

His former club Bridgend Ravens, who confirmed the news on Thursday, did not reveal a cause of death.

He scored 12 tries in 30 tests for his country, but it was with the Lions where he is thought to have left his greatest mark.

He bagged six tries against South West Districts on the Lions tour of South Africa in 1974, where he played a leading role as the tourists romped to a 3-0 series win, in no small part thanks to his four test tries.

Williams’ score against New Zealand in 1977 was a fifth for the Lions, and puts him second only to Ireland’s Tony O’Reilly on the all-time list following the latter’s six on two tours in the 1950s.

Williams was also a sprinter who represented Wales at the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, with all three of his children also finding success in athletics and son Rhys crowned European champion in the 400 metres in 2012.

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