Martyn Williams
Martyn Williams.jpg
Birth nameMartyn Elwyn Williams
Date of birth (1975-09-01) 1 September 1975 (age 47)
Place of birthPontypridd, Wales
Height185 cm (6 ft 1 in)
Weight97 kg (15 st 4 lb; 214 lb)
SchoolCoedylan Comprehensive School
Rugby union career
Position(s) Flanker
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
Cardiff RFC
Cardiff Blues
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2001, 2005, 2009
British & Irish Lions

Martyn Elwyn Williams, MBE (born 1 September 1975) is a former Wales and British & 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.[citation needed]

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 & Irish Lions

Williams was selected for the British & 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.He is now the Welsh Rugby Team Manager

International tries

Try Opponent Location Venue Competition Date Result
1  Ireland Cardiff, Wales Millennium Stadium 2003 Six Nations 22 March 2003 Loss
2  Tonga Canberra, Australia Bruce Stadium 2003 Rugby World Cup 19 October 2003 Win
3  England Brisbane, Australia Lang Park 2003 Rugby World Cup 9 November 2003 Loss
4  France Cardiff, Wales Millennium Stadium 2004 Six Nations 7 March 2004 Loss
5  Italy Rome, Italy Stadio Olimpico 2005 Six Nations 12 February 2005 Win
6  France Paris, France Stade de France 2005 Six Nations 26 February 2005 Win
8  England London, England Twickenham 2006 Six Nations 4 February 2006 Loss
9  Australia Cardiff, Wales Millennium Stadium 2006 Autumn Internationals 4 November 2006 Draw
10  New Zealand Cardiff, Wales Millennium Stadium 2006 Autumn Internationals 25 November 2006 Loss
11  Japan Cardiff, Wales Millennium Stadium 2007 Rugby World Cup 20 September 2007 Win
13  Fiji Nantes, France Stade de la Beaujoire 2007 Rugby World Cup 29 September 2007 Loss
14  France Cardiff, Wales Millennium Stadium 2008 Six Nations 15 March 2008 Win

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 Archived 2 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "No. 60009". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2011. p. 23.
  4. ^ "Veteran flanker Martyn Williams gets MBE in Queen's list". BBC News. Retrieved 31 December 2011.