WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Ireland flyhalf Ronan O’Gara, France fullback Pierre Villepreux, All Blacks winger Bryan Williams and Wales women’s international Liza Burgess are the latest players to be inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame.
O’Gara, who is currently an assistant coach of New Zealand’s Crusaders, is Ireland’s leading point scorer in tests, accumulating 1,083 points in 128 test appearances.
Villepreux played 34 tests for France as a goalkicking fullback but was also famous for his natural attacking play which he later brought to coaching roles with the Italy and France.
Burgess has been at the forefront of Wales women’s rugby for almost three decades, leading the team from No. 8 in its first-ever international, against England, in 1987. She captained Wales in 62 tests before retiring from international rugby after the last match of the Women’s Six Nations in 2007.
Bryan “Beegee” Williams was the first Polynesian player to play for the All Blacks. Born in Auckland but of Samoan descent, he blazed a trail for players such as Jonah Lomu who transformed New Zealand rugby.
Williams was the Lomu of his day, scoring 66 tries for the All Blacks, including 38 in tests. Chosen to tour South Africa in 1970 as an “honorary white,” he scored 14 tries in 13 matches.
Williams, who also served as president of New Zealand Rugby, was knighted for his services to rugby earlier this year.