Rugby Hall of Fame - November 2019

November 18 2019


Mike James - Barbarians
©

Four Players Inducted in Hall of Fame Ceremonies: Morgan Williams in NS Sports Hall of Fame; Mike James and Bobby Ross in the BC Rugby Hall of Fame; Pat Kay in North Cowichan Sports Wall of Fame



November was a busy month for Sporting Hall of Fames across the country. This past weekend Morgan Williams was inducted into the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame. You can see some photos and videos of the event on his brother's instagram account, https://www.instagram.com/jbaajeff/ . Jeff was also a top player and is currently the Canada U20 men's coach, Morgan is the assistant coach of the women's national 7s team. It's a great rugby family, I had the honour of playing rugby alongside their father, Rick "Commander" Williams.

Mike James and Bobby Ross were named as inductees into the BC Rugby Hall of Fame, that event will take place on January 11th at St. George's school. Tickets can be bought through the BCRU.

Pat Kay was inducted into the North Cowichan Sports Wall of Fame this past weekend. Photos can be seen on the Instagram account of his former coach and mentor Robin MacDowell, https://www.instagram.com/macdowell15/.

Inductees Announced for 2020 Hall of Fame

from BCRU

The British Columbia Rugby Union is proud to announce the 2020 inductees to the BC Rugby Hall of Fame, as well details for the upcoming ceremony which will include dinner, a raffle and live auction. Taking place on Saturday, January 11th 2020 at St. George’s School, Vancouver, the event will be a celebration of the contributions from this year’s distinguished inductees.

The Class of 2020 includes two stars of multiple Rugby World Cups, a player and coach who has helped inspire club, high school and national teams and former player who has committed the over 40 years of voluntary support to club and community. We invite you to join us in congratulating the 2020 BC Rugby Hall of Fame Inductees:

Mike James – Player
Ian McLean – Builder
Pat Palmer – Builder
Bobby Ross – Player

The BC Rugby Hall of Fame was established in 2005 to honour those individuals and teams who, through their commitment to excellence, left a profound legacy on the development of rugby in British Columbia. Over the past fourteen years, 46 individuals and two teams have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. The Class of 2020 will be warmly welcomed into their company at the induction ceremony on January 11.

Morgan Williams: Former captain of Canada among inductees into N.S. Sport Hall of Fame

from The Chronicle Herald

Considering he had taken the rugby pitch against the New Zealand All Blacks and the South Africa Springboks, there was no question of his bravery when Morgan Williams applied to be a firefighter.

There’s also no question that when Williams is inducted into the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame on Friday, in front of his former Cole Harbour Rugby Club teammates, there will be beers.

Joining Williams in this year’s Hall of Fame class are basketball player Justine Colley, basketball official Roger Caulfield, power lifter Jackie Barrett, soccer player Suzanne Muir, hockey player Jody Shelley and baseball coach Henry Boutilier.

Former Cole Harbour and Nova Scotia teammates J.D. Wheeler and Geno Carew took charge of the nomination for Williams, which, considering his accomplishments, falls into the no-brainer category.

Williams earned 58 caps for Canada, scored 12 tries and dropped a goal in international competition, including two tries against France in the 1999 Rugby World Cup. He was named Canada’s captain in 2005, and when he could fit it in, also played sevens for his country at three World Cups and two Commonwealth Games.

Perhaps because he is both a full-time firefighter and a full-time assistant coach of Canada’s women’s sevens side, is raising two kids, and is more concerned with a nap than additional honours, he hadn’t considered the possibility of going into the Hall of Fame.

“It was not even a thought in my mind, to tell you honestly. So when I heard the news I was pretty flattered and a little bit humbled to have my name inducted. It was a nice surprise,” Willliams said from Victoria, where he has lived since 2007.

He said the first time it seemed realistic that he might one day play professionally and for his country was while he was leading Nova Scotia in the Rugby Canada Super League.

“There had been a lot of hype in those final couple of years I was with Nova Scotia that there was the possibility of me getting on the national team, especially with (coach Pat) Parfrey (of Newfoundland) involved in that national team. But I was pretty focused on Nova Scotia and I really enjoyed my time there, most of my efforts were on playing for them and playing for the club,” he remembered. “I was very fortunate to get a break, it was first in ’97 when I went to Ireland. I just sat on the bench but it got my name put in the mix.”

Two years later, Williams, a scrum half, played well in World Cup lead-up games against Wales and England and “the rest is history.”

“I solidified my spot in the starting lineup and that carried on until 2007, when I captained the squad in the World Cup and until I retired, so I was very fortunate in that respect, to be able to hang on to my starting spot for the duration of my career,” he said. “That’s one of the things I’m most proud of.”

International notoriety led to a professional contract in France, where his dyed blond locks and derring-do made him a darling of the French media, which dubbed him “le petit jaune.”

That hair is one reason he doesn’t show highlights of himself in action to his kids.

“When they look at them, they laugh. My hair was long, it was dyed, so they think it’s more funny than anything. I save myself the embarrassment and don’t play them,” said Williams, whose 13-year old daughter is a rugby player.

The women he coaches now are just as unimpressed by his career as his daughter is.

“A lot of them are young and don’t know too, too much and I’m more of a live in the now guy, so I don’t talk about it at all,” he said. “I’ve been involved with them since 2012, consulting when it first started, skill work, and then the last three years I’ve come on and been the full-time assistant coach. I was involved with the team when they went to the Olympics and won bronze.”

Williams got to play in the first Test match at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, built for the 1999 RWC. He also played at Lansdowne Road in Ireland, Twickenham in England, and Stade de France and Parc de Prince in France.

Maybe most memorably, he also played against the world’s most famous side, the All Blacks.

“It was a lot of running,” he said. “You know what, to get to play teams like New Zealand, South Africa, I played Australia, running out against those guys that you’d watch beat everybody in the world, it’s an opportunity and obviously you know it’s going to be an uphill battle the entire game, but you go out and play your heart out for the other guys on the field with you. But it’s a daunting task. Having (the All Blacks) do the haka in front of you is an experience like no other.”

Pat Kay Inducted into North Cowichan Sports Wall of Fame
from Municipality of North Cowichan

The North Cowichan/Duncan Sports Wall of Fame honours the rich history of sports, coaches, athletes, teams, administrators and builders from our community. Updated every two years, the Wall of Fame recognizes individuals and teams that have made great achievements or contributed significantly to athletics locally, within the Province, Country, or the World.

The Sports Wall of Fame will have six new inductees in 2019. Inductees will be honoured at a ceremony on Saturday, November 16, 2019 at the Cowichan Golf and Country Club. Tickets to the event will be available after September 3 by calling 250.746.3100.

The 2019 Wall of Fame inductees are:

Roselyn & Wes Craig – curling
Fuller Lake Flyers Junior B Teams (1970-1980) – hockey
Patrick Kay – rugby
Brian McKinlay – fastball
Ted Webb – basketball

“Sports has played a pivotal role in shaping our community,” says Councillor Tek Manhas, Chair of the Sports Wall of Fame Nomination Committee. “The Sports Wall of Fame provides an opportunity for us to celebrate past and present athletes, coaches and builders and the contributions they’ve made to our community. I’d like to congratulate this year’s inductees on their amazing achievements."

The Sports Wall of Fame is located in the lobby of the Cowichan Aquatic Centre and individuals and teams are recognized with a plaque on the Wall.

Background on 2019 Inductees

Patrick Kay – Rugby

In the prime of his career, Patrick has already reached extraordinary accomplishments in the Rugby world. He has already represented Canada on the national stage in 181 games and amassed 265 points and 41 tries. His awards include the 2010 Cowichan News Leader Young Athlete of the Year, 2014 Rugby Canada Young Player, and Stuart Pegg Scholarship Award. In 2014, Patrick was named MVP for Canada’s Under 20 Team and presented with the Canadian Rugby Centre of Excellence Player of the Tournament. In 2011, he represented Canada at the Youth Commonwealth Games and in 2018 at the Commonwealth Games.

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