New Zealand’s Sonny Bill Williams was given a second Rugby World Cup winners’ medal at Sunday’s World Rugby Awards.
Williams famously handed his medal to a young fan in the crowd at Twickenham after the supporter had tried to run on to the field to congratulate the All Blacks centre.
All Blacks centre Sonny Bill Williams gave his Rugby World Cup winner’s medal to a boy who was tackled by a Twickenham security guard after Saturday’s final.
Williams said the boy, later identified as Charlie Lines, was “smoked” – thrown to the ground – by a security official after running on to the field following the All Blacks’ 34-17 triumph over Australia.
Williams said he felt sorry for the youngster.
“I was walking around doing a lap of honour with the boys and a young fella came running out and he got smoked by the security guard, like full on tackled him. I felt sorry for the little fella.
“He would have been eight or seven, I kind of felt sorry for him.
“If it was my little brother or a cousin, I would have given that security guard a hiding.”
“Hopefully (the medal) made it a night to remember for him,” the All Blacks centre said. “It’s better that he has it rather than having it hang up at home.”
The official Rugby World Cup Twitter account showed a picture of Williams giving his medal to “a young fan”. It did not say why, however.
Williams received a standing ovation from the audience at the awards when he went up on stage to accept his new medal.
“World Rugby would like every winner to go home with a medal and they have found the final one,” Sky Sports‘ Alex Payne said prior to Williams going up on stage.
Charlie Lines, the young fan at the centre of this amazing World Cup story, reportedly tried to give the medal back to Williams, who in turn insisted that Lines keep it.