Naas RFC hosted their 16th Annual Business Lunch at Killashee House Hotel on Friday 7th October. Over two hundred guests attended the event and were entertained for the afternoon by two of the great legends of rugby: JPR Williams and Fergus Slattery. Both speakers gave an excellent insight into their respective careers and experience of playing international rugby at the highest level and responded to a range of interesting questions from those in attendance including their predictions for the outcome of the World Cup quarter final the following morning between Ireland and Wales.
A brief career summary of both speakers in presented below.
Naas RFC would like to sincerely thank all of the guests who attended and those who supported this club fundraising event and in particular the event sponsor; Mr. Tim Dooley of Dooley Insurance Group, the guest speakers JPR Williams and Fergus Slattery and the Naas RFC organising committee: Gerry McGrath, Ross Murphy, Pauline Sloane and Greg Brady.
Naas RFC are celebrating their 90th anniversary of the establishment of their club this season.
Speakers Career Summary
John Peter Rhys (JPR) Williams was educated at Bridgend Boys Grammar School in Wales and then Millfield School in Somerset. He was first capped for Wales in 1969, aged 19 and went on to earn 55 caps (five as captain and eight for the British Lions). He played club rugby for Bridgend and London Welsh and also played a few games for Natal shortly after the 1974 Lions tour.
He had many high points in his rugby career, being a key player in the Welsh side that won Grand Slams in 1971, 1976, and 1978, and is remembered in particular for his record against England. In 10 tests between Wales and England he scored five tries - exceptional for a fullback - and was never on the losing side. He was also outstanding for the Lions, winning the 1971 series against New Zealand with a long-range drop-goal and playing a major role in the 1974 ‘invincible’ series against South Africa.
Williams retired from international rugby in 1981 and continued his career as an orthopaedic surgeon. He continued playing club rugby for many years, playing throughout the 1980s and 1990s for Bridgend and then for Tondu Thirds into his fifties. He finally hung up his boots in March 2003. He was one of the inaugural inductees of the International Rugby Hall of Fame in 1997.
JOHN FERGUS SLATTERY
John Fergus Slattery played schools rugby for Blackrock College and then moved on to play senior rugby for UCD, before earning a call up to the Ireland team in 1970. During his career Slattery, a flanker, earned 61 caps, 18 as captain, and scored 3 tries. In 1971, he was a member of the British and Irish Lions squad that toured New Zealand. He played for the Barbarians in the famous 1973 test match against the All Blacks in Cardiff.
Slattery toured with the Lions again in 1974, playing in all four Tests and captaining the side for two provincial matches. He was captain of the most successful Irish touring side ever in 1979 which won 7 of the 8 matches in Australia including the two Tests in Brisbane and Sydney. In addition to these honours, he was a member of the Irish Triple Crown-winning team in 1982. He was inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame in 2007.