Wales will 'rally round' retiring Shane Williams hopes Shaun Edwards

 

Assistant coach Shaun Edwards revealed how he was left "bewildered" by the talent of Shane Williams as the Wales wing prepares to bring the curtain down on his international career.

Arch-finisher Williams, 34, is Wales' top Test marksman with 57 tries to his name, but will pull on the red jersey for the 87th and last time in next Saturday's Millennium Stadium encounter against Australia.

Former Wigan rugby league star Edwards has worked with the Ospreys flier since joining Warren Gatland's coaching staff in 2008, and recently signed a new deal to remain with the Wales set up through to the 2015 World Cup.

That first year of Gatland's tenure saw Williams in arguably the best form of his life, with his six tries in Wales' RBS 6 Nations Grand Slam success helping him to become the International Rugby Board's Player of the Year.

Edwards, who was famously picked out by TV cameras roaring his approval of a Williams' score against Italy during that clean sweep, admits he could not help but be impressed by the diminutive winger, and has called on the Welsh squad and rugby public to ensure he receives the perfect send off against the Wallabies.

"Sentiment has to come into it," said Edwards. "Just look at (rugby league great) Darren Lockyer's last game in an Australia shirt.

"The lads are going to rally round Shane and want to take him out on a win.

"They expect the people of Wales to rally round, get to the stadium to say goodbye to someone who has been a great hallmark of everything that is good about Welsh rugby.

"The first year I came and saw him play when we won the Grand Slam, I was bewildered by the standard of play he was putting out there on the pitch.

"He is undoubtedly an all-time great of the game. Shane is a symbol of hope that no matter what shape or size you are, if you are good enough and determined enough you can make it."

Williams has scored a host of memorable tries across his 11-year Test career, including his score in the 2008 Grand Slam clinching win over France, his brilliant solo touchdowns against South Africa in the same year, and the five-pointer that sealed a remarkable comeback win over Scotland the 2010 Six Nations.

But the man himself says his favourite try for his country was his first, a run-in on his second cap against Italy during the 2000 Six Nations.

"My favourite was my first," he said. "It was one of the tries I will never forget.

"It was my second cap, we had played France the week before and one of my first touches was an interception pass to Emile Ntamack which I am sure everyone remembers.

"After that I questioned whether I was good enough to play for Wales again but I was lucky enough to be involved from the start against Italy and to score a try.

"It wasn't the most spectacular but you never forget your first and it just gave me massive confidence and it's something I will never forget."

PA

Suggested Topics
Sport
Lionel Messi pictured after reaching the final
world cup 2014
Sport
Lionel Messi and Thomas Muller have shone brightest for Argentina and Germany respectively on their way to the World Cup final
Sport
Brazilian fans watch the match for third place between Brazil and Netherlands
Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: Dutch pile on the misery in third place playoff
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Arts and Entertainment
'Deep Breath' is Peter Capaldi's first full-length adventure as the twelfth Doctor
TVFirst episode of new series has ended up on the internet
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?