Shane Williams broke Wales's all-time try-scoring record on March 15th 2008 with a touchdown against France in the 2008 RBS 6 Nations - a crucial score which virtually secured the Grand Slam of the same season for Wales. It was the occasion of the Ospreys wing's 56th cap for his country. The record, held previously by Gareth Thomas, was taken by Williams seven days after he had equalled Thomas with a try against Ireland at Croke Park on March 8th 2008.
It took Williams eight years to reach the 40 try milestone since scoring his first international try on his second appearance for Wales; against Italy during the 2000 Lloyds TSB 6 Nations at the Millennium Stadium. Thomas's record had stood without equal for just 168 days, set as it was on the occasion of Thomas's 100th cap, against Fiji in the 2007 Rugby World Cup, it was broken after just 175 by Williams.
From a record-setting perspective, the 2008 RBS 6 Nations was a good tournament all round for Shane Williams. Prior to breaking the all-time Welsh record, his brace against Scotland saw him become Wales's leading try-scorer in the history of the Six Nations at the time with his eleventh try in the competition.
He took his try tally to 45 in the opening game of the 2009 tournament when he scored in the second half against Scotland and he increased his tally to 46 when waltzing over against Italy. He scored twice against the Pumas in November 2009 before sending Welsh fans into raptures by scoring under the posts in injury time to secure a last-gasp victory over Scotland in the Six Nations in 2010.
He repeated that effort in the last minute against France to reach 50 tries for his country. His try also took him past Gareth Edwards as the leading Welsh try scorer in the championship with his 19th try and he finished off the campaign with a touchdown against Italy.
Colin Charvis proved the strength of forward scoring power was alive, well and flourishing in the principality as his 22nd strike for Wales - which came during the Wales v South Africa Prince William Cup match at the Millennium Stadium on 24th November 2007 - saw him become the world's leading try-scoring forward.
Charvis overtook the previous world record of 21 international tries by a forward set by Italy's Carlo Checchinato. That record had stood since 6th September 2003, when the Italian lock scored against Georgia after coming on as a replacement in a warm-up match for the Azzurri ahead of the 2003 Rugby World Cup.
It was a further record for Charvis who had previously become Wales's first forward to score four tries in one Test match against Japan in November 2004, a record that no Welsh forward has equalled or bettered to date.
Willie Llewellyn set a tough challenge to his successors in the Welsh jersey when he marked his debut for Wales by scoring four tries against England at Swansea in 1899.
The Llwynypia wing set two records that day that have yet to be broken - four tries on debut and four tries in a match. Since then only eight other Welsh players have run in four tries in a match and equalled the record.
In November 2004's Lloyds TSB Autumn Series at the Millennium Stadium the record was equalled twice in the space of fiftten days, first Tom Shanklin scored four against Romania then two weeks later Colin Charvis became the first Welsh forward to score four tries in a match against Japan.
|Player||Venue & Match||Tournament / Year|
|Willie Llewellyn||at Swansea against England||1899|
|Reggie Gibbs||at Cardiff against France||1908|
|Maurice Richards||at Cardiff against England||1969|
|Ieuan Evans||at Invercargill against Canada||Rugby World Cup 1987|
|Nigel Walker||at Lisbon against Portugal||Rugby World Cup 1995 Qualifier|
|Gareth Thomas||at Treviso against Italy||1999|
|Shane Williams||at Osaka against Japan||2001|
|Tom Shanklin||at Cardiff against Romania||Lloyds TSB Autumn Series 2004|
|Colin Charvis||at Cardiff against Japan||Lloyds TSB Autumn Series 2004|