Former Manu Samoa Coach, Tuifa’asisina Bryan Williams, has been honoured for his services to rugby in New Zealand and Samoa.
The Sir Bryan Williams knighthood was officially invested upon the humble Samoan during a ceremony yesterday in Auckland. He hopes the Samoan community would be equally proud of him as New Zealand.
Sir Bryan was honoured during a ceremony presided over by New Zealand’s Governor General, Dame Pasty Reddy, kicking off a week of investiture ceremonies at the Government House in Auckland.
Sir Bryan, 67, was honoured for his long-serving involvement in rugby in New Zealand and Samoa since the 1960's.
"Sir Beegee does have a nice ring to it. I'm still Beegee to all my friends, along with Granddad and Dad and some less auspicious names from the family," he told the NZ Herald.
He said he was chuffed by the honour.
"I'm very chuffed about it to be honest," he said.
"You live your life, you do your work, you raise your family, you play your rugby and you do your community service and I guess at the end of the day some people have liked what I've done."
According to the NZ Herald, Sir Bryan maintains that the moment he was named an All Black remains the highlight.
"It really starts to sink in and from that day my life changed. I don't think any day goes by when reference isn't made to it."
He said he'd had plenty of successes but also many failures to learn from.
"It moulds you and you learn how to take the ups with the downs."
Embracing his Samoan heritage has been highlighted as one of his biggest successes.
Sir Bryan said he hoped the Samoan community would be as proud of him, as he is of them.
"That 10 years coaching the Samoa team was very special, we had three World Clubs in that time, put Samoa on the map for rugby and I'm very proud of that."
His dedication to rugby included playing for the All Blacks 1970 to 1978, putting Samoa on the map for rugby in the 1990's, being appointed president of the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) and overseeing the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
Sir Bryan said he didn't don't go into looking for awards but he had a passion for the game and fortunately the game loved him back.
Sir Bryan is a regular visitor to Samoa.