|Williamson in 2005|
2 June 1978 |
Strathpine, Queensland, Australia
|Height||184 cm (6 ft 0 in)|
|Weight||96 kg (15 st 2 lb)|
|Position||Centre, Five-eighth, Lock, Second-row|
|Source: RLP & Yesterday's Hero|
Luke Williamson (born 2 June 1978 in Strathpine, Queensland) is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer of the 1990s and 2000s. He is now coach of the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles' NSW Cup team after previously coaching the team in 2011 and being the coach of Manly's Under 20s side in the Toyota Cup competition in 2012. His playing career was spent with the Adelaide Rams, Canberra Raiders, Northern Eagles and Manly Warringah Sea Eagles in the National Rugby League and for the Harlequins in the Super League.
After standout performances for the Adelaide Rams' Under-19 team early in 1997, Rams first grade coach Rod Reddy selected Williamson to make his first grade debut as an 18 year old for the Rams in a surprise 16-12 win over the Auckland Warriors at the Ericsson Stadium in Auckland during Round 4 of the 1997 Super League season. Playing in the centres he kicked a late goal to help seal the Rams first ever away win. He would go on to be the Rams top point scorer in 1997 with 70 points from 12 games (3 tries, 29/37 goals). He backed that up with a further 17 games and 44 points in the 1998 NRL season. As the Rams folded after the 1998 season, Williamson remains the second highest point scorer for the club with 114 points, just two behind Graham Appo. His 45 goals is the record number kicked for the ill-fated club.
Despite being the Rams second highest point scorer, Williamson never led the team in points in either season, with Kurt Wrigley scoring 81 points in 1997 and Graham Appo scoring his 116 points in 1998.
After the Rams folded before the start of the 1999 NRL season, Williamson signed with the Mal Meninga coached Canberra Raiders (the Rams actually had its season launch in early February, but owners News Limited pulled the plug on the club days later as part of the peace deal between Super League and the Australian Rugby League which resulted in the formation of the NRL). His first season with the Raiders would be the most successful in his 14-year career. He played in 20 games, mostly on the Wing or at Centre and scored a career high 174 points from 6 tries and 74 goals after taking over the goal kicking duties from David Furner.
Williamson would play 41 games in three seasons with Canberra, scoring 8 tries and kicking 113 goals. An injury riddled final season at the club in 2001 saw him only play in 2 games, both from the bench. Following the season Williamson left Canberra and join another new and short lived club, the Northern Eagles.
Luke Williamson played 16 games for the Northern Eagles in the 2002 NRL season. After playing his first three games from the bench, he would play the rest of the season at Five-eighth and again was the club's top scorer with 98 points from 3 tries and 45 goals.
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
The Northern Eagles, who had been formed as the result of an unhappy merger between long time rivals the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles and the North Sydney Bears, folded after the 2002 season with the licence falling back to more financially stable Sea Eagles. Williamson then signed with Manly where he would spend the rest of his playing career in Australia. After playing in the backs for most of his career, Williamson took on the role of Lock forward following the retirement of Ben Kennedy at the end of the 2006 season. He played in Manly's 2007 NRL Grand Final defeat to the Melbourne Storm, but missed out on the 2008 NRL Grand Final Centenary Grand Final against the Melbourne Storm due to injury. Manly defeated the Storm with the record Grand Final score of 40-0.
After retiring from rugby league in 2010, Williamson became a rugby league coach. He coached the Manly Sea Eagles NSW Cup side in 2011 before becoming the head coach of Manly's Toyota Cup side for 2012 with Manly club legend Cliff Lyons taking over as NSW Cup coach. Williamson is currently once again the coach of the Sea Eales NSW Cup side in 2013.
Luke Williamson is the son of Henry Williamson who represented Queensland in 1971 and later played with Newtown in 1973 and 1974. He is also the nephew of former Innisfail, Newtown, Qld, New South Wales and Australian and Halifax winger Lionel Williamson.