Wing wizard Shane shares his story at Machynlleth Rugby Club

Saturday 7th May 2022 6:00 am
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An evening with Shane Williams, Machynlleth RFC
Wales wing wizard Shane Williams with comedian John Martin (Machynlleth RFC )

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Machynlleth RFC held a special night on Friday, 22 April, as members and guests were royally entertained by an evening with ex-Wales rugby player Shane Williams MBE, which had been postponed twice due to storms and Covid-19.

Shane was accompanied by a stand-up comedian, John Martin, who kept the evening moving along at a good pace, auctioning off items of rugby memorabilia to raise funds as well as poking fun at the members and himself.

Meanwhile, Shane related the story of his rugby career after not being given the opportunity to play the game at school, who had protected him as being “too small”.

Instead, he played football for his local team, Cwmamman United AFC. Once he had the opportunity to play in his late teens, he rapidly progressed, quickly being snapped up by Neath RFC as a reserve scrum half before being tried on the wing, and from there to the Welsh squad.

However, he was again to suffer from the “too small” syndrome, which saw a two-year hiatus until Wales (with Shane) lit up the Rugby World Cup in Australia in 2003, when Wales produced a scintillating performance against the All-Blacks in Sydney, surprising everybody. Wales lost 53-37, but Shane scored one try and set up two.

He was to become a fixture in the Welsh squad thereafter, going on to win 87 caps plus three games for the British and Irish Lions, and was voted World Rugby Player of the Year in 2008, having scored a total of 60 international tries. The moral of his story? Never give up!

 An evening with Shane Williams, Machynlleth RFC
Shane Williams presents a signed photograph to Elfed Jones (Machynlleth RFC ) (Machynlleth RFC)

A presentation was also made by Shane to the recently retired club steward Elfed Jones for his (and Lillian’s) 21 years’ service to the club, while he also posed for numerous photos with various attendees.

Machynlleth RFC first team played against Aberystwyth II on the following day, losing 19-17 to a last minute try by the visitors, bringing to an end a very frustrating season, hugely disrupted by the pandemic.

Th start of next season will be preceded by the 25th annual Sion Wyn 7s competition, to be held on Saturday, 30 July.

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