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Your questions for Martyn Williams

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Bryn Palmer | 17:35 UK time, Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Johannesburg, Wednesday evening

Wales flanker Martyn Williams has been giving us the 'behind the scenes' view of life inside the Lions' camp on their South Africa tour.

I will be speaking to Martyn again on Thursday afternoon, after the team is announced for the third Test.

So in the final week of the tour, this is your last chance to ask him any questions you may have about what has unfolded so far, on and off the field.

I'll collate the best of them and his answers will appear on the site on Friday.


  • Comment number 1.

    Mr Williams, do you have any specific music you listen prior to a match ?


    I've heard 'Powerade and vodka' is a popular beverage with some players, what is your favourite 'post-match' cocktail ?

  • Comment number 2.

    There has been many journalists, and members of the public who have described the Lions as an outdated concept primarily due to the test results so far.

    How has the experience felt, and how would you reflect on the critics misplaced (but entitled) opinion of the British and Irish Lions - how would you describe being a Lion? British and Irish players say that it is the pinnacle, and I would have to agree in terms of the achievement, but individualy and within the confines of the squad and Lions ethos, what has it ment to you?

    Best of luck to all on Saturday we'll be there with you every inch of the way - Never above you, Never below you......Always by your side.

  • Comment number 3.

    Hi Martyn,

    It's been a long season, especially for those involved in the Lions squad. How long of a break do you get after the next game until training begins again, and how will you spend this time?

  • Comment number 4.


    Do you feel that when the next six nations comes about. You will employ a different, or prehaphs smarter, outlook on how to handle certian players like Tom Croft for example- which you have toured with. Surely all this game time with players from different countries will help your (and thier) cause

  • Comment number 5.


    Have you ever been eye gouged during a game and what do you think should be the appropriate ban for that offense?

    Do you think the fact that the the Boks kept their test players out of the provincial games hurt the Lions preparation?

  • Comment number 6.

    Hi Martyn,
    I was wondering if there is a general feeling amongst the players that the springboks have just been extremely physical,and when on the back foot will turn to a,"any thing to win mentality",even foul play dare i say it.I must congratulate all the lads there on some superb rugby having enjoyed every minute from the safety of my armchair.
    Cheers Martyn,and good luck on Saturday.

  • Comment number 7.

    Hi Martyn,

    What was the difference, if any, between Schalk Burger's and Alan Quinlan's recent eye-gouging offences?

  • Comment number 8.

    Just to say, you guys have done amazing. Made me proud, and im sure the rest of the British Isles.

    Watching you play, Martyn, you are a very alert and clever player. Which I think makes you one of the best in the world (yes im a blues fan).
    But what do you think about in the game? When your standing the otherside of a ruck, what are you thinking, or thinking about doing?

    Also, coming head to head with whats probably the most physical side around nowadays in the springboks? what are they like after the game? Are they as arrogant and ruthless as they seem in the game.

    Also one more little thing, videotape Shaun Edwards singing the drifters, saturday night at the movies haha.

    you've made us fellow welshmen and gingermen proud.

  • Comment number 9.

    Dear Martyn,
    How do you get over something that didn't go your way such as the Heineken cup semis earlier this year? or the 6 nations tournament?

    Also i would like to say that this was the first Lions Tour i have watched and after what amazing rugby i have seen, i will definitely be watching in 4 years time.

    p.s. could you possibly pass onto Luke Fitzgerald that i'm a big fan?
    Good Luck on saturday's match.

  • Comment number 10.

    Mr. Williams, in all honesty, how motivated is the squad for the up-coming test? I appreciate that it is fighting for the honour of the squad but how does the atmosphere compare with the previous two tests, when you were still in the series? Can we expect a special performance?

    Absolutely stirling work so far to you and the whole team. Two really enjoyable test matches that have gone some way to repairing the damage of 2005. Best of luck.

  • Comment number 11.

    Hi Martyn,

    What's been your personal highlight of the tour off the pitch so far?

  • Comment number 12.

    Hello Martyn,

    I want to ask you about Shane Williams, quality player ofcourse, from being a star player in the six nations to being voted IRB player of the year, youve been with him training in both the Lions and Welsh camps. What differences, if any, do you see in him while playing and training for the lions?


  • Comment number 13.

    As nothing is riding on the result of the final test, except avoiding a whitewash, do you think the Boks will actually try to play rugby this time and run the ball around? And if they do, can the Lions raise their game after the obvious disappointment of being pipped in the previous two tests?


  • Comment number 14.

    Do any Lions have some scores to settle with the Boks on Saturday?


  • Comment number 15.

    Hi Bryn and Martyn. I'm a huge Lions fan and share your disappointment in our series loss. However, I'm also a bit embarrassed by the behaviour of some of our B&I journalists, but particularly the B&I management and players. NO ONE seems to have given the Springboks credit for winning this series - we've come up with any number of excuses as to why we 'should' have won both tests and why our losing team are the real heroes. Well, the Boks 'should' have creamed us in '97, but congratulated us as a result of the scoreboard reading! POC, BOD and Mike Philips in particular have shown themselves up as terrible losers, not even publicly congratulating John Smit or the Boks (and both guilty of cynical play and punching themselves). Will you redeem us, please Martyn? Burger's awful action aside, the Boks deserved their win - do you agree?! If so, will you be big enough to offer congratulations? Thanks gents, Guy.

  • Comment number 16.

    What next after this Martyn ? Are you planning to stick around for the next world cup ? Be fantastic of course if you did.

  • Comment number 17.

    Hi Martin,

    Have you personally had any fines whilst on the 2009 lions tour, and who has had the worst fine and what for?


  • Comment number 18.

    Hi martyn

    I know its not good to look back at this point, but after playing the two tests in your oppinion which of the players who were unlucky enough not to make the tour would have been most useful and why??


  • Comment number 19.

    Question for Martyn Williams.
    I have read many articles and opinions about the tussles between Vicks and the Beast but am still unclear about what was happening that was allegedly illegal. Can we please get down to specifics: what were the illegal acts that went unrecognised and what did the referee allegedly get so wrong?

  • Comment number 20.


    How much gas is there left in the tank? Will you aim for another six nations or two and then the 2011 world cup or are there other plans for for the future ? maybe the "Martyn William's school of openside excellance" discouted fees for Welsh students but twice as much for the English!! It would be great for your knowledge to be imparted into the new breed of young back rowers.

  • Comment number 21.

    Hi Martyn

    Even on tour you keep up with rugby news, so what do you think of France
    performances in New Zealand against the All BLACKS ?


  • Comment number 22.

    you are known for your superb rugby skills. do you think outside half in the Welsh premiership or maybe div 1?

  • Comment number 23.

    You were on the bench at the time of the Burger gouge and all of you must have been extremely annoyed - justifiably. How do you control your anger when actually playing during the game if a similar incident occurs? Are you tempted to retaliate in some way? (You needn't give away any trade secrets!)

  • Comment number 24.

    Hopefully not too personal a question, but do you feel dissapointed not to have started one of the tests yet (one more test to go granted!)?
    If you are picked to play/bench this saturday, do you think the fact that the lions can no longer win the series will alter your preparation/mind-set going into the game? i.e. will their still be the same desire to 'put your body on the line' for a so-called 'dead rubber'?

    Looking forward to seeing what you can do at the new Cardiff stadium

  • Comment number 25.

    We are all quite rightly appalled by what we saw on TV involving Schalk Burger and Fitzgerald. I have read the decision and still feel Burger got off lightly.

    I have three related questions:

    1. In view of what appears to be an orchestrated attack on Burger and De Villiers by the Lions management and players insisting that Burger deserved an immediate red card, in view of what the referees said at the hearing, is it still the belief amongst the Lions' players that the referees, on the basis of what they have said they saw, could have red carded Burger?

    2. In view of the fact that it must have been a talking point amongst the players because of his ban, can you tell me whether, after Quinlan was banned for gouging

    a. was there any discussion amongst the players as to whether the punishments for gouging were too light and should be strengthened?

    b. disgust expressed in regard to Quinlan's actions which in any way resembles the disgust expressed with regard to Burger's actions?

    c. Paul O'Connell has recanted his views, with regard to Quinlan's offence that "If it looked bad, I am sure there was nothing in it."

    3. Can you tell me the Lions' views on punching in the groin area? If there was video evidence of one of your team mates punching an opponent in the groin, would you be happy playing with him, despite the fact that he was not penalised or cited?

  • Comment number 26.

    Hi Martyn,

    First congratulations for the fearless fight the Lions put up on the two tests. Although the wins didn't come your way the attitude and motivation of the Lions is inspirational to any kid who wants to take up rugby.

    My question: Do you find it difficult to motivate yourself for the 3rd match with the series being lost to the Springboks?

  • Comment number 27.

    Hi Martyn,

    Congrats to the whole squad on an immense performance to date - we're all very proud of you.

    My question - how difficult is it for the players to find motivation for Saturday's last test? Dead rubber, thoughts of home, end of a long season - it's not difficult to think of distractions. What works for you personally?

    All the best - you're already heroes, but it'd be great to put one over them on Saturday.

  • Comment number 28.


    I'm gutted about Adam's injury.

    On the subject of No. 3's, has Dai asked you to speak to Euan Murray about his availability?

    The Blues definately need a quality tighthead but they are a rare breed

    Gareth Thomas
    (Blues fan).

  • Comment number 29.

    Martyn, I have to agree with GuyHarder, What happened to the well known British sportsmanship?? No congrats to the Boks, or should we believe the general perseption that rugby players from the British Isles are just whiners when beaten, even worse than the Australians??

  • Comment number 30.

    Hi Martyn,

    are you allowed to drink alcohol on tour, if so how much are you allowed ?

    Rock on

  • Comment number 31.

    Did Bowe and Croft find out who stole their beds and, if so, what was their revenge?!
    We are all so proud of you guys - the result may not have been the win we wanted, but the character, professionalism and pride of the whole squad has been outstanding. Good luck for Saturday!!!

  • Comment number 32.

    Alright, butty?

    Whilst what happened at the start of the 2nd Test was a disgrace but has the time not come for us Brits to stop talking about the whole thing? The TV pictures were clear, their coach's comments were appalling but nothing will change the result. The Aussies must be put this one in the bank next time they get asked to justify calling us whinging poms. What do you think?

    By the way - despite being neither a Wales nor a Cardiff fan you have always been one of my favourite players. I am guuted you won nothing this year.

  • Comment number 33.

    Hi Martyn. When I was following the Lions on tour to Oz in 2001 it was obvious in the last week that half the squad were "off tour". Any chance of this happening this week to the guys not in the test 22 ? and if not, how have the management managed to keep the whole squad focused ?
    Good luck on guys arent playing for pride, you've got that in spades, you're playing to show those Boks how lucky they have been to go 2-0 up !!! Joe

  • Comment number 34.

    Would you consider moving into a coaching role after you decide to hang up your boots.

    Steve, Cardiff

  • Comment number 35.


    Last Saturdays game was beyond bruising!! How do yee speed up the recovery process after such games, so as to get yee back on the training field on the Monday? Surely it take more than an ice bath cycle? Besta luck for the last Test too; when pride is at stake, theres still plenty to play for!!!

  • Comment number 36.

    Martyn - with the current trend for eye gouging, if you could eye gouge one rugby player in the world, who would it be?

    On a more serious note, terrific season for you personally, you've been a terrific advert for the sport again. Look forward to the same next season.

  • Comment number 37.

    BigBliksem - living in one of several London areas currently blighted by an over abundance of saffers, I can confirm that sportsmanship and humility are still blazingly obvious areas that South Africans need to put a lot of work into. That and spelling. Perseption??!

    Looking forward to the Tri Nations, will be very interesting to focus on the famed manners of oooh let's say Bakkies Botha when the whistle blows on a loss.

  • Comment number 38.

    VonStoobing - hey mate, I'm one of those saffa's currently blighting London.
    Great series so far, some wonderful rugby, and the Lions have proven to be tough, resilient and very worthy opponents.
    Want to watch the game together?

  • Comment number 39.

    Hi Martyn, good luck on saturday. How did you find training with the TRX?

  • Comment number 40.

    Martyn - what a fantastic series its been for rugby fans. The Lions have made us proud by playing such great rugby, and personally I think the Lions were robbed in both Tests by a mixture of off colour refereeing and poor luck. Let's hope the balance is redressed in the 3rd Test.
    My question would be: Having played South Africa so regularly in the past 12 months, do the Welsh boys feel the Springboks are getting weaker/stronger, or that Wales/the Lions are getting weaker/stronger, or a mixture of both?

  • Comment number 41.

    I believe that you have had an accomplished career, winning a grand slam and ruining many English six nations hopes, not to mention being in my opinion one of Wales greatest servants in the past decade,

    i wish to ask you: do you think O'Gara's inclusion in the
    replacements bench was a good move? Because i think it was a shocker.

  • Comment number 42.

    Hi folks; Thanks for all your questions. I've spoken to Martyn now and asked a good selection of them, but apologies if yours didn't make it in time. His answers will appear on the site on Friday morning.

  • Comment number 43.


    Do the players of both teams meet up in the bar after a test and if so what is the atmosphere like, friendly, edgy, cool, a mix ?

  • Comment number 44.

    hi martyn

    is it true you are going on a stag trip to benidorm when you get back. Are these the actions of a professional rugby player. Surely you should be resting your body not abusing it

  • Comment number 45.

    Not a question sorry... just wanted to offer my congratulations on being selected to start the final test.
    Good lick to all - lets hope the Lions can finish off a great tour with a win!


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