Wallabies coach popular in Limerick - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wallabies coach popular in Limerick

David Beniuk 15/11/2010 07:21:24 PM Comments (0)

Wallabies assistant Jim Williams is a bit of a legend in the Irish province of Munster, something he realised when the locals started calling him Seamus.

Williams was branded with the Gaelic version of his first name by Ireland's Test five-eighth Ronan O'Gara during the former Wallaby forward's seven years at Munster as a player and assistant coach.

Arriving in 2001, Williams was part of a golden era which produced two Heineken Cup titles, European club rugby's biggest trophy.

"It's quite good once you play at Thomond Park and people start yelling your name in the right way and start calling you that, then you know you've kind of settled in fairly well," Williams said as the Wallabies arrived in Limerick.

When Australia's second string outfit take on the Irishmen on Tuesday night (0700 AEDT Wednesday), they'll be running into a side that has prided itself on ambushing touring international teams.

Munster became the first Irish team to beat a major touring side when they knocked off Australia in 1967, and repeated the dose in 1981 and, last time around, in '92.

Their most famous victory, though, was a 12-0 win over the All Blacks in 1978, a result which has taken on mythical proportions.

A hit stage play, Alone It Stands, and a bestselling book, Stand Up and Fight, have both been inspired by the win.

"To the brave and faithful, nothing is impossible" is the team's motto and Williams says that's exactly how it was during his time in Ireland's south-western province.

"It's always been the nature of Munster to never give in," he said.

"It's just a very close-knit group.

"A lot of the guys would be related to just about every person in the crowd."

Munster currently sit top of the Magners League, comprising 12 teams from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Italy.

They have an Australian coach, Tony McGahan, and former Brumbies mentor Laurie Fisher is also on their staff.

Their fans are considered fanatics and as many as 26,000 will cram Thomond Park for the clash with Australia.

The Wallabies will spend three days in Limerick, a city trying to put a shocking reputation behind it.

It was dubbed Stab City for its crime problem and its perception wasn't helped by the poverty portrayed in Frank McCourt's international bestseller Angela's Ashes.

Limerick has one other claim to fame - it is the home of the Garryowen Football Club, which gave its name to rugby's up-and-under kick.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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