Cardiff sign British & Irish Lions full-back Liam Williams as his injury-plagued time at his hometown club Scarlets comes to an end
- Liam Williams will make switch to Cardiff after two years playing for Scarlets
- The 30-year-old full-back made just four appearances in that time due to injury
- He says it feels like Cardiff ‘are building something special’
- Williams previously played for Saracens but left following their salary cap breach
- At Saracens, he won the Gallagher Premiership and Heineken Champions Cup
British & Irish Lions and Wales full-back Liam Williams will swap Scarlets for Cardiff for next season.
The 30-year-old – who has 72 Welsh caps and five appearances for the Lions on his CV – rejoined his home region Scarlets in February 2020 after leaving Saracens following their salary cap breach.
Williams helped Saracens to win both the Gallagher Premiership and Heineken Champions Cup in his two-and-a-half-year stint with the English giants.
Williams has joined Cardiff after a two-year stint at his hometown club came to an end
But through a combination of injury, suspension and misfortune, Williams has played just four games in two years for the Scarlets.
For the 2022/23 season he will switch to Welsh capital side Cardiff, who were in desperate need of a full-back after international Hallam Amos confirmed his intention to retire to become a doctor.
Williams said: ‘I’m really excited to link up with Cardiff in the summer, but remain very grateful to the Scarlets who have given me so many opportunities in the game.
Suspensions and injuries meant the 30-year-old made only four appearances for Scarlets
‘I’m fully committed to them for the rest of the season.
‘I have lots of fond memories there but, at this stage of my career, I feel I need a change of scenery and environment to ensure I can stay at the top of my game.
‘Cardiff have really impressed me recently and it feels like they are building something special.
As a Saracens player, he won the Gallagher Premiership and Heineken Champions Cup
‘I have a lot of good friends there from the Wales squad and they cannot talk highly enough of the environment. Dai Young has convinced me that Cardiff is the best place for me to further my career.
‘They have an enormous amount of talent in the squad, complimented by some really exciting young players and the competition for places will be fierce.
‘But I am looking forward to playing my part and I am excited to see what we can achieve.’
Cardiff director of rugby Young welcomed the arrival of a Test superstar in Williams.
‘We are all really excited to have signed Liam and look forward to welcoming him to Cardiff next season,’ Young said.
‘We knew we had an opening at full-back and Liam’s talent and consistency is abundant for all to see.
Cardiff director of rugby Dai Young was crucial in convincing Williams to join
‘He has been one of the best full-backs in the world for a number of years and brings real quality on both sides of the ball with his attacking ability, kicking game, positioning and bravery.
‘He adds further strength and experience to our squad and will not only strengthen us on the pitch, but be a key role model and leader for some of the young talent coming through in the back three.
‘It is important we have strength and depth across the board and we will continue to add quality to our squad when available.’
Bath director Stuart Hooper hoping Taulupe Faletau will return before the start of the Six Nations
Meanwhile, Bath director of rugby Stuart Hooper hopes Wales and Lions No 8 Taulupe Faletau will return to action before the start of next month’s Six Nations.
Faletau is yet to play this season due to an ankle injury. His last action came with the Lions in South Africa last summer.
The potential availability of Faletau would be a big boost for defending Six Nations champions Wales and their head coach Wayne Pivac, but Hooper has sounded a note of caution about throwing him straight back into international action.
The Bath director of rugby hopes Taulupe Faletau will return before next month’s Six Nations
Without Faletau, Bath have had a shocking first half to the Premiership season and sit rock bottom of the table without a win from their first 10 games.
It was confirmed last year that Faletau will leave Bath for Cardiff where he will be a club team-mate of Williams next season.
Another Wales back-row – Thomas Young of Wasps – will also be a Cardiff player next term.
‘I would anticipate him potentially being back before the Six Nations,’ Hooper said of Faletau.
Stuart Hooper said he hoped Faletau would get some game time with Bath beforehand
‘What we’ve got to remember with Taulupe is he hasn’t played any rugby since before the Lions Test series.
‘It’s a long time without any rugby to be talking about the Six Nations. He’s a quality player don’t get me wrong, but we want to see him back and on the field for us as soon as possible.
‘I think we can probably do that before the Six Nations.’
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