(11.00s) – Shane Williams 5ft 7in of Welsh Wizardry

Image result for shane williams

In his pomp Shane Williams was untouchable, the Welsh winger lit up the international rugby stage scoring 2 tries for every 3 games in his 86 tests for Wales and 4 for the Lions.

Williams is the record try scorer for Wales, and is fourth on the international list of leading rugby union test try scorers behind Daisuke Ohata, David Campese and Bryan Habana. He is Wales’ most capped winger.

In 2008, Williams was selected as the IRB Player of the Year.

Famed for his agility, stepping and blistering acceleration the diminutive 12 stone 8lb flyer was awarded his first cap by Graham Henry as a replacement against France in the 2000 Six Nations season, he was three weeks short of his 23rd birthday and weighed a little over 11 stone. Able to find and exploit the tightest of gaps with regularity. His love for the game, charm and enthusiasm meant that even whilst scoring tries against England was always a popular player to see with ball in hand.

Image result for shane williams lions

At the start of his Test career, in 2000, Williams’ father, Mike, put £50 at 500-1 on his son breaking the Welsh try-scoring record. He picked up £25,000 when his son touched down for the 41st time, against France on Grand Slam day in March.

Never the quickest in a straight line (he was rarely running in a straight line), Williams had genuine pace especially over the first 10 meters, leaving a loose forward in the defensive line was a not uncommon sight.

His 100 meter time in his prime must’ve been on the 11 second mark, possibly under but his small size makes me think it isn’t (Shane please get in touch to correct me).  Back in 2011 the WRU head of strength and conditioning Adam Beard talked about the arrival of a young George North in the squad…

“At the moment, it’s still Shane over 10 metres, then Leigh Halfpenny and Jamie Roberts is up there as well. He’s improved a lot. “But George will smash all the records. I’ve seen him run 4.5 seconds for 40 metres unofficially a couple of weeks ago. “That’s right up there with the fastest guys in world rugby.”

Shane, you are one of the greats.  100m – 11.00s.

At 40 his love for the game has not diminished, set for an emotional return to the Principality Stadium with childhood club Amman United in the National Bowl competition after a 29-3 semi-final win against Cardigan.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/wales/39401160

Monye v Watson: Who’s the fastest?

 

England’s Anthony Watson doesn’t believe former international Ugo Monye is quicker than him over 100m.

In an interview with Chris Jones on the Rugby Union Weekly podcast, Watson said: “I’d like to think I could run under 11 seconds. Let’s say 10.85 just to beat Ugo!”

The 23-year-old came off the bench to score in England’s Six Nations victory over Scotland on Saturday.

This clip is from 5 live’s Rugby Union Weekly, first broadcast on Monday 13 March 2017.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04ws7bz

Ugo Monye 100m (claimed) – 10.60s

Anthony Watson (guessed) – 10.85s

 

(11.00s) The White Welsh Lomu: George North

George North, Scotland v Wales, Six Nations

George North exploded on to the International rugby scene as an implausibly large and powerful 18 year old, scoring 2 tries for Wales in their defeat to South Africa and becoming the youngest Welsh try scorer ever and 3rd youngest capped player.

Here he is showing early promise and shifting through the gears to 40m as a 17 year old.

Split times
10m: 1.66s
20m: 2.82s
40m: 4.97s

At 6ft 4in and over 17 stone he mixes pace and power like no one else in the Northern hemisphere and comparisons with New Zealand great Jonah Lomu aren’t far of the mark. He was at his most devastating on the winning Lions test series in Australia in 2013, taking all 16 stones of Israel Falou for a run in a fire mans lift as the tackler became the tackled.

In Brisbane, North scored the first Lions try vs Australia; a fantastic run from inside his own 10m line beating 4 players.[7] However, North’s celebration was slightly over exuberant and he later apologised, saying he felt ‘horrendous’ after making a triumphant gesture towards Will Genia. He finished the 3 match series with 2 tries and many more rugby fans worldwide.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 29: George North of the Lions lifts Israel Folau of Wallabies while carrying the ball during game two of the International Test Series between the Australian Wallabies and the British & Irish Lions at Etihad Stadium on June 29, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images for HSBC)

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 29: George North of the Lions lifts Israel Folau of Wallabies while carrying the ball during game two of the International Test Series between the Australian Wallabies and the British & Irish Lions at Etihad Stadium on June 29, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images for HSBC)

Still only 23 he is the youngest player to amass 50 caps and currently has 25 tries from 57 Wales and British Lions caps.

Without an official 100m time GenuinePace estimates that North could hit the 11 second mark on the track – we eagerly await the day he goes against the clock. Until then his opposing players will feel the full force… starting with South Africa tomorrow in the Rugby World Cup Quarter Final – North will line up against JP Pietersen but the scoring contest with SA’s other wing Bryan Habana will be a key match up to look out for.

Brute force + genuinepace = terrifying

SPT_GCK_280613_British and Irish Lions Tour 2013, Australia, Melbourne. Picture Graham Chadwick. George North and the Lions team take a dip in the sea at St Kilda

SPT_GCK_280613_British and Irish Lions Tour 2013, Australia, Melbourne. Picture Graham Chadwick. George North and the Lions team take a dip in the sea at St Kilda

(10.40s) Habana the Man-Cheetah

Bryan Gary Habana has been regarded as the fastest player in the game for the last 10 years. He scored with his first touch of the ball in Test rugby in 2004 and hasn’t stopped out pacing all-comers ever since.

A great of the game the South African winger was named IRB Player of the year in 2007, the year he and hist countrymen won the World Cup. He is fourth on the all time list of International try scorers with 57 from 106 caps (3rd if you discount Ohata who’s tries have mainly come against minor nations).

Over the first 20m Habana is electric and Genuine Pace has an unverified time over 100m of 10.40s but he’s a player who seems to go faster with the ball and it wouldn’t be surprising or unjustified to list a time nearer 10.30s.

The man can tackle too…

the man can do anything;

here he is racing a Cheetah…

and a plane…

he’d probably beat you in the gun show too..

10.50s American Rugby’s Finest

In 2007 Bryan Habana was considered the fastest man in rugby, he made a habit of embarrassing some of the quickest wingers in the game, still does. But in arguably the try of the World Cup tournament, Takudzwa Ngwenya finished in thrilling style. Offered the outside by Habana, the 22 year old USA winger burnt him on the outside, surely the first to do so. South Africa would go on to win the game and eventually the World Cup but America and Zimbanwean born Ngwenya had their moment to savour,

“I was thinking of kicking but then I thought I would try and get him to stop, and then gas him out wide,” Ngwenya said. “And he did stop. It’s not that I’m fast, I just got him to stop so that worked pretty well. I knew he would be annoyed. If I got beaten by a slower person, I’d be annoyed.” 

“He (Habana) is the best winger in the world,” Ngwenya said. “I was intimidated every time he got the ball. If you look at the video or saw the game live, I was just yelling ‘come on, come on’. I was intimidated. I didn’t want to leave him one on one with me – and luckily I didn’t.” 

His hand timed 10.50s earns him a place at Genuine Pace.

10.40 The Trick is Pace

Southern Regions v England

David Trick represented England at every level, from under-16’s through to International level.  He joined Bath in 1978 whilst still at school and played almost three hundred games, scoring 191 tries during a period dominance for the Somerset club.  The winger toured Argentina and South Africa with the England team and played twelve games (scoring eleven tries) between 1980 and 1986

His 10.40s hand timed 100m during his junior athletics days that mean Trick is certainly one of the fastest of the amateur era.

Deadly one on one finisher:

Rugby Union Special

In our post ‘The Rocky IV of Sprinting’ we looked at the Genuine Pace of sprinter Allan Wells who trained with and was coached by his wife Margot Wells. To kick off the Rugby Union special we look at some of the players who owe much of their Genuine Pace to her tutelage.

Next we find out who are the fastest in World rugby.

Mike Brown Harlequins and England Full Back:

Dan Luger former England Winger

Danny Cipriani Sale and England Fly Half

(10.70s) Paul Sackey former England Winger