Former Welsh rugby star Shane Williams has revealed he called his head coach Warren Gatland “fat and useless” after Wales beat England in the 2008 Six Nations.
Warren Gatland had just taken over as head coach of Wales after the side were dumped out of the pool stages in the 2007 Rugby World Cup by Fiji a few months previously.
The New Zealander got his tenure off to a flying start, as Wales beat England at Twickenham Stadium for the first time in 20 years.
Understandably, the team went out to celebrate after the win, but from there things got a little messy for Wales’ top international try-scorer.
“After the game Gats liked to have a pint to celebrate. He said to the boys, ‘Enjoy the night and have a few pints.’ You say that to me and I’ll have more than a few pints. And a couple of the other boys as well.
“So we had a couple of Pimms and lemonade at Twickers and we came back to the vale. There was a party upstairs. I think it was a wedding party.
“Then people like Mike Phillips, Lee Byrne, James Hook and Gavin Henson said, ‘Come on boys, let’s go up for a wander.’
Beth yn union ddywedodd @ShaneWilliams11 i Warren Gatland ar ôl curo Lloegr yn y Chwe Gwlad yn 2008? 😳
Beating England in the 2008 Six Nations, crashing a wedding party and asking Warren Gatland for a fight! 😳
— S4C 🏴 (@S4C) December 3, 2020
“So I chucked my bag in the reception and we all went for a couple of pints. Next thing I remember was waking up in the morning fully clothed.
“I thought to myself, ‘Right, ok I don’t remember much from last night but I’m ok. I’ve still got my clothes.
“We went to the recovery pool in the morning, I jumped into the hot tub and I saw Tom Shanklin just staring at me. He said, ‘Well, do you remember last night?’
“I don’t remember much in truth. Why what happened? ‘Well you only just called out Warren Gatland to fight.’,” Williams told S4C.
‘I can’t remember anything I said’
While Williams was one of Wales’ top players at the time, he was understandably afraid for his place in the squad and ran to the new head coach to apologise.
So I jumped out of the hot tub and ran straight to Warren Gatland’s office. ‘Gats -I’m really sorry about last night. I can’t remember anything about what I said. I’m so sorry.’
“He said, ‘Shane, Shane, Shane. Chill out, calm down. What are you on about?’ And I was just thinking… Shanks! He’s had me here.
“In the end, he asked me to sit down and have a chat. So we were just talking about the game, talking about the next game and talking about winning the Grand Slam. And I was thinking, ‘This is great.’
“Then he said, ‘Right, I’ve got to go. I’ve got a TV interview in about 10 minutes. Yeah alright, no problem.
“So he stood up, walked around the table, put his arm around me and just before he pushed me out the door he said, ‘But if you call me a fat, useless Kiwi **** again and you’ll never play for Wales’,” Williams said.
The little Welsh winger went on to prove his worth to Gatland as he scored six tries in Wales’ Grand Slam-winning campaign.