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VIDEO: Grant Williams talks about his journey to a starting Bok berth

SPOTLIGHT: Grant Williams says he is finally ready to play his first full Test match after struggling with injuries for years.


The 27-year-old scrumhalf will get his first start in a Springbok jersey in the Rugby Championship against Argentina at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Hailing from Paarl, Williams received his schooling at Paarl Gimnasium.

He arrived in Durban in 2017, Williams joined forces with College Rovers and just the following year found himself thrust into the Super Rugby cauldron, when he was required to replace the injured Louis Schreuder against the Lions.

Williams is a typically busy No.9, with a lethal turn of pace, something he demonstrated when he came off the bench against Australia at Loftus a fortnight ago.

Williams says it took a lot of perseverance and patience to work his way to the Springbok starting XV.

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“I played club rugby after school in 2014. I then ended up at College Rovers in Durban. I think perseverance is probably the biggest thing that is instilled in me. It helped me to this point and I am extremely grateful,” he said.

“My first Bok camp was in 2021 and I think it was a blessing in disguise that I didn’t go too quickly because I didn’t think I was ready.

“I am now finally ready to play international rugby. It takes a lot to work through everything to get to the point where I am now. I am very thankful for the opportunity.


“For the first time, I am healthy because I had a lot of niggles. I really struggled with small injuries and this is the first time that I can complete a season without any injury.

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Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber explained the reasoning behind thrusting the youngster to the forefront and granting him a starting berth ahead of more experienced scrumhalves like Faf de Klerk and Cobus Reinach.

“Grant is on his third Test and his first start. It is our job to help him gain experience during the week to give him as much exposure of what he is going to get on Saturday.

“So that he is happy and comfortable in the role that he has to fulfil so that doesn’t have to think about it, he can just bring out his natural talent and that makes him special.

“Yes, he has a role to fulfil, but there is also something that Grant brings to the table that makes him special, that is a Grant Williams thing,” Nienaber explained.

He also talked about the five scrumhalves in the squad and how Williams worked hard to be recognized.

“We are really fortunate that we have five really good scrumhalves. In terms of Grant, the two games he came off the bench, it was not only that.

“Last year he didn’t get an opportunity and he was probably number for or number five in the pecking order because the other guys were all fit and they got game-time and they got a break.

“So it was more about how he trained, how he performed for his franchise.  So it’s not only how he did in the last two Test matches when he came off the bench.

“It is what he did since he has been in the mix with us. He has always been a guy that gave it his all and he probably deserves the opportunity through things that happened to the other scrumhalves, he got the opportunity now.

“And he is definitely putting up his hand.”

Williams added that the biggest thing for him is to nail his role on Saturday and make sure the team goes forward.


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