It was good to hear news this week from the Land of the White Cloud about one of our own – former Macclesfield Blues and Sedgley Tigers second row stalwart, Dean Williams. Dean has been making a name for himself down under, not just for his rugby ability where he’s plying his trade with West Auckland-based Suburbs RFC, – the home Club of both Mils Muliania and Craig Dowd – but also for his sheer physical size. Anyone who remembers Deano’s bruising ball carries at Priory Park will need no reminder of that.
Well, it seems like Deano has now ‘officially’ pencilled his name into the record books as probably the world’s largest rugby player. Standing at an impressive 2.13 metres tall – 7 feet in old money – and weighing in at 132kgs, Dean stands head and shoulders above all others: All Black, Springbok and French players Brodie Retallick (2.04m), Sam Whitelock (2.03m), Eben Etzebeth( 2.06m) and Yoann Maestri (2.02m) fail to measure up to our own home-grown giant Deano. He even pips giant Irish lock forward Devin Toner by a good 3 centimetres.
Naturally when you’re that big and playing a physical game, your frame is going to need some serious refuelling. It’s good to see that Deano doesn’t disappoint there either. To keep in tip top condition Dean is gobbling down 5 to 6 full sized meals a day; though he’d be the first to admit that as good as the food is in New Zealand, he’s still missing his mum’s home cooking.
But putting aside his sheer size, how’s the rugby going? Well, it all appears to be going very well indeed. He knew when he travelled that he faced challenges as they play a rather different brand of rugby in New Zealand, but he’s adapted to the challenge well and seems to be thriving. He may have only been plying his trade down there for a year or so, but he’s already made a big impression.
Suburbs RFC Coach, Charlie McAlister, former rugby league star and father of former All Black and Sale Sharks centre, Luke, is full of praise for Dean and believes he has massive potential. Speaking to the New Zealand website Rugby Heaven, Charlie said:
“He’s a superb young man, and I’m hoping that Auckland will pick him up for the ITM Cup.” He added that his official advice to any aspiring centre of more down to earth proportions looking to tackle Dean is this – “don’t.”