Born: c. 1887
Test record: 0 Tests
Tours: 1913 tour of Australia
Lionel Percival ‘Percy’ Williams ranks among the more unique cases in New Zealand’s early representative history – the 1913 tourist to Australia’s status as a Kiwi was only properly recognised 81 years later.
The City rugby union player and Auckland rep was lured to rugby league and England by Wigan in 1910, notching more than a century of appearances in four years with ‘The Riversiders’ and playing alongside fellow Kiwis, the legendary Lance Todd and former All Blacks great Charlie Seeling. He was also part of the Wigan side that faced the 1911-12 Australasian Kangaroos.
Enroute home in 1913, Williams was added to the New Zealand squad midway through its tour of Australia and was a matchday replacement at hooker for Sam Auld for the third clash with New South Wales, won 17-11 by the visitors. Williams also featured in the subsequent 34-10 loss to Dally Messenger-led NSW two days later. He lined up opposite pioneering icon Sid ‘Sandy’ Pearce in both matches.
Williams turned out for City Rovers in the Auckland competition in 1914 before retiring.