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Last Updated: Monday, 21 March, 2005, 10:53 GMT
Williams top in Six Nations poll
PLAYER OF THE CHAMPIONSHIP
Martyn Williams with the RBS Player of the Championship trophy
Wales flanker Martyn Williams has been named the RBS Six Nations Player of the Championship after winning a third of the vote from BBC Sport website users.

The 29-year-old, who was an inspiration in his country's Grand Slam success, grabbed almost 8000 of the 23000 votes.

Williams told BBC Sport: "At the start of the tournament I was just hoping to make the 22. I thought my best hope was to start on the bench.

"So to win this award and for everyone to vote for me is something to savour."

Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll finished second in the poll, with another Welshman, wing Shane Williams, in third place.

After a hugely successful campaign for Wales, Martyn Williams was quick to highlight his team-mates' achievements in his award triumph.

I knew a lot of these guys would eventually celebrate a Grand Slam win, but not an old timer like me
Martyn Williams
He said: "When I got this I thought what about Gethin Jenkins, Shane Williams and Stephen Jones among others. They all are deserving winners of this award, and that's a testament to the Wales side as a whole.

"It's a real surprise to get this accolade, especially to be chosen ahead of such quality players."

Saturday's 32-20 win over Ireland ensured Wales' first Grand Slam success for 27 years.

But Williams admitted he "never thought he would be around to celebrate a Grand Slam triumph".

He added: "I thought, no knew, that a lot of these guys would eventually celebrate a Grand Slam win, but not an old timer like me!

"So that makes it even sweeter as does the whole support we received from start to finish in this season's Six Nations.

"I've been a player in Cardiff for nine years and it was just so special. City Hall with the big screen was like Henman-hill at Wimbledon gone crazy.

"And there were more red jerseys than I could ever imagine. So it's great for them we were able to do that."




WHAT YOU SAID:

Martyn Williams has been the cornerstone of Wales' success this year. His constant hard work have repeatedly set up the counter-attacking opportunities through which the Welsh team have amassed points in abundance.
Ryan Hobbs, Wales

Once Charvis had been injured I wondered who would replace him and Williams stepped up to the mark in a big way. He won the game the in France and has shown throughout that he is still one of the best open sides in the world of rugby. The way he is playing he should surly start for the Lions at openside.
Emmett Glenn, Ireland

This was a simple choice. Martyn has demonstrated that he is the form openside in European rugby. After a disappointing start to the campaign (if Charvis was fit he would have been on the bench) he has let his rugby do the talking. Martyn has been at the heart of everything Wales have done and if not at the end of the scoring pass, he would certainly be involved in the moves. I am looking forward to the Lions tour in the summer, what a match up - Martyn Williams against Richie McCaw!
Jeff Fuge, England

He has been an obvious player with some outstanding tries but has also been a ferocious worker. He has stepped up to the plate when the opportunity has availed itself. Cometh the hour...
Leighton McAndrew, England

Has given Wales the bite and the ball so that their backs can be at their most effective. More than competent in the scrum, effective at the ruck and devastating in the loose.
Edd Pickering, England

A Ginger Whirlwind!
Peter Thomas, Wales

Having Martin in the side has enticed the other players to play the open rugby that Wales are familiar with. He is always there as a link man between backs and forwards and wins the majority of loose ball.
Carl Forrest, Wales

Powerful in defence and in the pack, but most dangerous as an attacking force in the loose - in this situation playing as an additional back! Awesome.
Andrew Griffin, Oman

Martyn Williams has been consistently outstanding in the loose throughout the Championship. Without him it would have been impossible for Wales to play the free flowing rugby that has left them with the Grand Slam.
Bill Mather, England

Martyn Williams with the RBS Player of the Championship trophy
Williams looks odds on to start for the Lions
A tough one. Yachvilli has been outstanding, as have the Irish and Welsh squads. Nevertheless, Wales have been the team to watch. Of all the quality attackers, defenders and improvers, Martyn Williams has won his place in the Welsh team, kept and played some genuinely clever world class rugby. Immense in defence, quality in support, and a strong attacker. Bring on the Lions!
James Prime, Wales

Key component in the platform that's allowed Wales' back line to really perform, and has chipped in himself in terms of tries.
Ben Fasham, England

Outstanding loose forward of the tournament. Always the man in support. Fantastic rugby brain and vision. Scores points, makes tackles and gets involved with the 'dog' on the floor when required. All of this and people were saying he was past it too!
Tim Morris, UK

Martyn Williams' play has been so dynamic and fluent. He has been everywhere in defence and attack, providing a constant link between forwards and backs.
Dominic Doyle, Belgium

A magnificent tournament and long deserved recognition. Having seen him play for Cardiff for years, it is no surprise that he is doing so well in disrupting opposition ball and making life uncomfortable for the opposing packs.
Robert Franklin, England

Mr. Perpetual Motion involved in everything - slowing down opposition ball, securing turnovers, link play and scoring vital tries - nuff said!
Rhodri Williams, Wales

In an outstanding Welsh team, outstanding.
Tom Cox, England

He had big boots to fill when he came in for Charvis, but he has proved himself as the player of the tournament and has kicked Charvis out of the Lions number 7 jersey. Great tournament for Martyn Williams!
Gareth, England

An outstanding performer has cemented his no 7 Lions Jersey with a great work rate and an ethic to match
Chris Ward, UK

Best player in the best team.
Hector MacQueen, Scotland

First, it has to be a Welshman. And I would pick Martyn Williams as the best all-rounder of this championship.
Xavier, France

One of the finest flankers you can get. Great try scoring record in the championship and a quick thinker, the try against Italy on the upright proves this.
Hywel Thomas, Cymru

Martyn Williams epitomises the Welsh style of play - dynamic, quick handling, hard tackling, good support play, quick thinking, everywhere and doing everything.
David Jessop, UK




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