WATCH: Grant Williams reaping the rewards of his perseverance and patience



Published Jul 25, 2023


It was a blessing in disguise for Grant Williams that he did not debut for the Springboks back in 2021 when he attended his first camp but rather showed patience for his opportunity in the Green-and-Gold.

According to the nippy scrumhalf, he is now more mature and understands and is ready for the responsibility that comes with the role.

On Saturday against Argentina at Ellis Park (kick-off 5.05 pm), Williams is trusted with the nine-jersey, and with flyhalf Manie Libbok will form an exciting halfback pairing.

It opens the prospect for exciting running rugby in the backline, especially if the weather allows it.

Williams will only play in his fourth test but has impressed massively with how he gets the Springbok backline on the front foot with his quick and accurate service from behind the forwards.

If the pack dominates in the contact again and supplies Williams with clean ball possession, the scrumhalf will look to get Libbok and fullback Willie le Roux in play to set the outside backs on their way.

This is a massive opportunity for him to further state his case to be included in the Springboks' World Cup squad ahead of the tournament in France.

"I am glad I didn't play back in 2021, I don't think I was ready," Williams said on Tuesday when Nienaber announced his side.

"Finally I can say that I am ready to play international rugby. It takes a lot to fight through everything and get here, but I am thankful for the opportunity and the management to back me to start this weekend and for the games against Australia and New Zealand.

"I had to wait my turn, and hopefully on Saturday I can nail my role and help the team get a result. That is the most important thing."

The Paarl-born Williams walked a different path to the top after matriculating from Paarl Gymnasium. He joined College Rovers for club rugby, but the following year was thrust into Super Rugby by the Sharks.

And from then he never looked back.

Some injuries stifled his progress when he joined the Durban side, but he didn't let that throw him off his path - to get to the summit of South African rugby.

"Perseverance is probably the biggest thing that is instilled in me. And it got me to this point. I am extremely grateful.

"For the first time, I am healthy to say it like that. I've had a lot of niggles, Manie can explain that because he was also at the Sharks. And I struggled a lot with small injuries. This is the first time I am playing a season without any injuries and that is a blessing for me."


IOL Sport

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