Chester Williams is best known as the star winger of the Springbok rugby squad that won the 1995 Rugby World Cup and was nicknamed ‘The Black Pearl’. He was an integral member of the South African rugby team from 1993 to 2000, during which time he played 27 international games, scoring 14 tries for the Springboks.
Chester was the first non-white player to be included in the Springboks squad since Errol Tobias in the early 1980s. He scored a try in debut match against Argentina in Buenos Aires, which the Springboks went on to win 52-23. His international career, hampered by knee injuries in 1996 and 1997, ended with a 23-13 win against Wales on the 26th of November 2000 in Cardiff.
Turning to coaching in 2001, Williams was selected as the coach of the South African sevens team that won bronze at the 2002 Commonwealth Games and ended runners up in the World Sevens Series. He remained sevens coach until 2003. Williams was also mentioned as one of the possible successors to Springbok coach Rudolph Straeuli, a position which was eventually awarded to Jake White, and in 2004 he became coach of the Cats Super 12 team, where he remained until July 2005.
In 2006 he was appointed as the head coach of the national ‘A’ side, and also coached the Pumas, the team representing Mpumalanga in the Currie Cup, for a year. Chester was one of the four named candidates to replace Jake White as Springbok coach, a position which was eventually awarded to Peter de Villiers in January 2008.
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