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08th Jan 2024

Wales and Lions legend JPR Williams dies aged 74

Charlie Herbert

JPR williams dies

RIP to one of the greats of the game

Legendary Welsh rugby player JPR Williams has died aged 74.

A member of the historic triumphant tours to New Zealand in 1971 and 1974 in South Africa, Williams earned eight caps for the British & Irish Lions.

Winning 55 caps for Wales, he is one of a select group of Welsh players to have won three Grand Slams.

He was also involved in the ‘greatest try ever scored’ while playing for the Barbarians in 1973.

At club level, the former fullback also played for Bridgend, London Welsh and the Barbarians.

Announcing the news of his death in a statement on social media, Bridgend said the club was “devastated” by his passing.

The statement continued: “One of Bridgend’s most decorated players and an icon of world rugby, JPR served the club most recently as club president.

“Our thoughts are with JPR’s family and friends at this sad time.”

Paying tribute to Williams, former Wales captain Jonathan Davies said he was an “absolute legend.”

He told BBC Radio 5 Live: “Not many people can go by their initial and he was known as JPR.

“I remember watching him growing up. He was an absolute rock in defence with the tackles he made.

“If you wanted anybody behind you at full-back, I could not think of anybody better.

“When he was with the 1974 Lions in South Africa, when the fights broke out, he kept running in from full-back to punch the forwards. He was perhaps the most competitive bloke I have ever come across.

“He was ferociously competitive. It is very sad, he was just a great rugby player and an incredible character.

“Whenever you mention who were the greatest full-backs in any era, you hear about the greats like Serge Blanco and Christian Cullen, JPR is always in the mix.”