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JJ Williams, Great Wales And Lions Winger, Dies At 72

JJ Williams, Great Wales And Lions Winger, Dies At 72

JJ Williams, the winger who starred for the great Wales and British and Irish Lions rugby sides in the 1970s, has died. He was 72.

CARDIFF, Wales: JJ Williams, the winger who starred for the great Wales and British and Irish Lions rugby sides in the 1970s, has died. He was 72.

The Welsh Rugby Union and Lions confirmed the news on Thursday without giving a cause of death.

Williams was christened John James but known by his initials. He played 30 times for Wales from 1973-79, and helped the team win the Five Nations in 1975 and 1979, and Grand Slams in 1976 and 1978.

A year after his Wales debut, he was picked for the Lions tour of South Africa. He started all four tests and scored two tries in the second and third, the latter pair helping the Lions to clinch a series in South Africa for the first time since 1896.

He scored the only Lions try in their only test win in New Zealand in 1977.

Williams equalled the Lions record of six tries in one game in 1974, and scored 22 tries in 26 games across the 1974 and 1977 tours.

Speed was one of his assets thanks to a background in sprinting. He came to prominence as a schoolboy, and ran at the 1970 Commonwealth Games for Wales.

His love of athletics was passed to his children, all three of whom ran for Wales. The most successful was Rhys, a hurdler who won a European gold medal in 2012.

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