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Williams to be a Paladin

JBJohn Bailey Williams, a senior at Ravenwood High School (Brentwood, TN) and member of the Ravenwood Raptors has accepted a rugby scholarship and is committed to enroll at Furman University this fall.

Williams, son of Mark and Theresa Williams, plays 8-man for the Raptors and owns an impressive rugby resume. He is a member of the USA U-19 Team and is a three-time Tennessee All-star. He helped lead his squad to state championships in 2012 and 2013. Last year, the Raptors were state runner-up.

Williams, 6’0, 195, also plays flanker, center and has attended rugby camps at Life College and Berkley University. Williams participated in the Las Vegas 7s Invitational Tournaments 2013-15. His father is a long-time men’s team, college and high school rugby coach and is very well-regarded in rugby circles.

“JB is always obliging to play any position asked of him. JB has 90 percent of the basic rugby skills which is rare for U19,” said Kevin Kitto, President and Director of USA South Rugby. Jody Hensley, the head coach of Middle Tennessee State rugby teams calls Williams “a hard-nosed, gritty player with a never-say-die attitude.”

Williams will be part of Furman’s third scholarship class, the largest and most talented to date. The class also includes Josh Hager, (Whispering Pines, N.C.) Austin Willis (Atlanta) and Pierce Kirkland (Houston). Last fall, Furman captured the Southern Rugby Conference Title and ended the season ranked 6th in the nation.

“We are thrilled that John has decided to join our rugby family,” said Furman Coach John Roberts. “He will be the fourth coach’s son to be a part of our program. It is very affirming when long-time rugby coaches send their sons to Furman be student athletes.”

Mark Williams said he was first exposed to Furman rugby when coaching the Nashville Men’s Rugby Team.

“I have had the opportunity to coach rugby since 1998 at many different levels. The first time I visited Furman was in 2002 when I coached the Nashville men’s team,” said Williams. “The growth and development of the Furman Rugby program is impressive. Furman represents excellence; excellence in academics, excellence in student growth and development and excellence in sport. John is a committed rugby player that will contribute to the Furman Rugby program and their quest for a division 2 the national championship.”

John Williams says “I am fortunate to be a part of a school where I will excel both academically and athletically.  Furman’s reputation of excellence speaks for itself and I am excited to be a member of their rugby team. Being coached by John Roberts will allow me the opportunity to further develop my rugby skills as a part of the Furman rugby team.”






Last updated March 10, 2015
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Clinton Colmenares
News & Media Relations Director