A winner of the Rugby World Cup, the Super 12 title with the Brumbies in 2001 Jim Williams returned to Australia in 2008 to link up with the Qantas Wallabies after serving as assistant coach at Munster.
There, he acted as forwards coach alongside the former Ireland Coach Declan Kidney, as Munster won the 2007-08 European Cup title.
His subsequent association with Robbie Deans, who’d earlier won the 2008 Investec Bank Super 14 with the Crusaders, meant that the Qantas Wallabies had representatives from the club champions of both hemispheres on the coaching staff.
As a player, Williams was renowned for his uncomplicated approach, with a strong running game a feature.
He has brought these qualities to his coaching – both the Munster forwards, and the Australian team under his guidance, operated in a very direct manner.
As a player, Williams began his State career with the NSW Waratahs before moving to the ACT Brumbies for the 1998 Super 12 season.
Selected for the Wallabies in the 1999 Test against Ireland in Brisbane, Williams would play another 13 Tests and was a member of the winning 1999 World Cup and 2000 Tri Nation’s squads.
He moved to Munster at the start of the 2001-2002 season and by his second season had been named captain. Williams remained with Munster as an Assistant Coach after his retirement in 2005, aged 36, and helped the team to a Heineken Cup final victory over Biarritz in 2006.
In 2007, he took over as Munster forwards coach, guiding the side to a second Heineken Cup title when the Irish club beat French heavyweights Toulouse in the 2007-08 final.