Tony Williams

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Tony "T-Rex" Williams (born 12 December 1988) is an Australian professional rugby league footballer for the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs of the National Rugby League (NRL).[1] An Australian international and New South Wales State of Origin representative forward, he previously played for the Parramatta Eels and Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles. He is known for his tremendous upper body strength, resulting in many big hits and fend offs.

Prior to the 2011 NRL season, Williams primarily played on the Wing and only moved to the forwards when he played for Tonga in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup. Then Manly coach Des Hasler moved the 6'4" (192 cm), 114 kg giant from the wing to the Second-row, a move that has been expected of the giant Williams almost since his debut for Parramatta in 2008.

Professional playing career

Parramatta Eels

Williams playing for Parramatta
Williams made his NRL debut playing on the wing for Parramatta in round 13 of the 2008 NRL season against the Canberra Raiders.[1] Williams had signed with the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles before that however, while playing for the Under 20's in the National Youth Competition.[2] That season he was named at centre in the NYC Team of the Year. Williams was also named in the Tonga squad for the post-season 2008 Rugby League World Cup where he not only played lock forward but also took on the responsibility of being the Tongan goal kicker with success.[3] He again represented Tonga in a 2009 Test match against the New Zealand Kiwis.[4]

Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

Williams was selected in the New Zealand Kiwis squad for the 2010 Four Nations.[5] However, he declared his desire to play for both Australia and New South Wales. Williams' form in 2010, scoring 16 tries for the Sea Eagles on the wing saw him selected to play for the Prime Minister's XIII against Papua New Guinea at the end of the 2010 season.

After playing in the centres for the first two games of the 2011 NRL season Williams missed the next 3 through injury. When he returned to the side Manly coach Des Hasler permanently moved Williams from the wing to the 2nd Row and his form blossomed. Over his next 18 games (he missed rounds 11 and 16-21 through injury), Williams started from the bench 12 times and in the 2nd row 6 times, including starting in the 2011 NRL Grand Final 24-10 win over the New Zealand Warriors. In the Grand Final, Williams played 47 minutes, made 7 hit ups for 40m gained and made 12 tackles.[6]

At the end of the 2011 season, Williams' shoulder charge on North Queensland's 6'4" (193 cm), 107 kg forward Tariq Sims at Townsville's Dairy Farmers Stadium in Round 8 of the 2011 season which saw Sims go flying backwards was featured on the NRL's official website as one of the "Best shoulder charges of 2011".[7]

Following Manly's 24-10 win over the Warriors in the Grand Final on 2 October, Williams was named in Australia's 2011 Four Nations squad. He made his test debut off the bench for Australia in a one off test against New Zealand at Newcastle's Ausgrid Stadium on 16 October, before scoring his first try for the Kangaroos in the opening match of the Four Nations tournament in Warrington on 28 October.

Williams first played for New South Wales during the 2012 State of Origin series.

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

After the 2012 season, Williams moved to the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, playing under his former coach at Manly, Des Hasler. On 5 October 2014, in the Bulldogs 2014 NRL Grand Final match against the South Sydney Rabbitohs, Williams played at second-row and scored a try in the Bulldogs 30-6 loss.[8][9]

References

External links