Williams enters Aussie fold

Australia coach Robbie Deans has appointed former Wallaby forwards Michael Foley and Jim Williams as his national assistants.

Foley, who was forwards coach under John Connolly’s regime, will be concerned with the set phases while Williams is being tasked with general forward play, the breakdown and continuity.

Deans takes on the dual-responsibility of attack and defensive coach. Australia previously had two separate coaches in Scott Johnson and John Muggleton for the respective disciplines.

Deans said he was pleased with addition of Williams to the Wallabies coaching staff.

“He has been coaching successfully in an assistant’s role at Munster in Ireland. He has runs on the board. His experience in the northern hemisphere will also be valuable.”

Williams played for the Waratahs in the Super 12 and was capped 14 times for Australia between 1999 and 2000. He was a member of the 1999 World Cup-winning squad and also won the Tri-Nations with the Aussies a year later.

After working in Ireland, Williams admitted he was thrilled to be handed this assistant coaching job.

“This is an exciting opportunity for me to return to Australia and also to work with one of the best coaches in the world,” Williams said. “It was a chance too good to miss.

“When I left Australia in 2001, it was only going to be for a couple of years. Seven years later, I’ve enjoyed every minute of my time at Munster. They have a great tradition, great passion, and they certainly revitalised my career.

“Australian rugby is hopefully ready to ride a new wave and to be part of that will be a great thrill. I am looking forward to the challenge enormously,” said Williams.