Martyn Williams

Martyn Williams
Full name Martyn Elwyn Williams
Date of birth (1975-09-01) 1 September 1975
Place of birth Pontypridd, Wales
Height 185 cm (6 ft 1 in)
Weight 97 kg (15 st 4 lb; 214 lb)
School Coedylan Comprehensive School
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Flanker
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
Cardiff Blues
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2001, 2005, 2009
British & Irish Lions

Martyn Elwyn Williams, MBE (born 1 September 1975) is a former Wales and British and Irish Lions international rugby union player. A flanker, he was Wales' most-capped forward with 100 caps until surpassed by Gethin Jenkins on 30 November 2013. He remains Wales most capped back row forward.

Club career

Williams played club rugby for Pontypridd, with whom he won the 1996–97 Welsh league, then moved to Cardiff RFC in 1999. He captained Cardiff from 2002 until 2005, when Rhys Williams took over the role.

In the Heineken Cup semi-final match against Leicester Tigers on 3 May 2009, Williams missed a crucial kick in the penalty shootout after the game had finished level after extra time, allowing Jordan Crane to step up and score the winning kick. It was the first time that a professional rugby union match had been decided by a shootout.

In March 2012, Williams announced that he would retire at the end of the 2011–12 season.

International career


After gaining international caps at every junior level he won his first Wales A cap in 1996 and then made the senior side against the Barbarians the same year. His first appearance in the Five Nations Championship was against England in 1998. He captained Wales for the first time against Scotland at Murrayfield in 2003.

He won his 50th Welsh cap against England in the first match of the 2005 Six Nations Championship and played a prominent part in Wales' Grand Slam that year, notably scoring two tries early in the second half against France in Paris when Wales had appeared to be heading for defeat. He was named RBS Six Nations player of the Championship (2005).

Williams announced his retirement from international rugby on 1 October 2007, following Wales' early exit from the 2007 Rugby World Cup only to make a surprise decision to return to international action when he was recalled by new Wales head coach Warren Gatland in January 2008. He was a key member of Wales Grand Slam winning side of 2008, and was considered by many to be one of the best players in the tournament.

Williams currently holds the Welsh record for most appearances in the Five and Six Nations championships, surpassing Gareth Edwards' record of 45 appearances in the third round of the 2009 Six Nations. He attained his 100th cap against the Barbarians on 2 June 2012.[1]

British and Irish Lions

Williams was selected for the British and Irish Lions tours to Australia in 2001 and to New Zealand in 2005. He was also named as part of Ian McGeechan's 37-man British & Irish Lions squad to tour South Africa in the summer of 2009.

Personal life

He played centre-back for the Welsh YMCA U16 football side.[2]

Williams was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2012 New Year Honours for services to rugby.[3][4] In July 2012, Williams was made an honorary fellow of Cardiff University.


He re-released his autobiography Magnificent Seven in August 2008 after coming out of international retirement.


  1. BBC – Williams to set new Wales record
  2. SkySports Player Profile
  3. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60009. p. 23. 31 December 2011.
  4. "Veteran flanker Martyn Williams gets MBE in Queen's list". BBC News. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
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