Liam Williams shows steel in bid for more silverware, as he aims to become the first player to win all four major rugby trophies in one year
- Wales and Saracens full-back Liam Williams is setting out to make rugby history
- He can become the first player to win all four major rugby trophies in one year
- He has lifted the Premiership title, European Cup and Six Nations so far this year
Liam Williams is out to make to rugby history – while sticking it to his English mates along the way.
If Wales win the World Cup in Japan this November the Saracens full-back will become the first player to win all four major rugby trophies in a year.
Winning 22 of the 23 matches he played in the 2018-19 season, Williams lifted the Premiership title, European Cup and won a Six Nations Grand Slam with Wales.
Liam Williams is setting out to make rugby history by winning all four major trophies in a year
The Wales and Saracens full-back has won 22 of the 23 matches he played last season
‘Three trophies!’ the 28-year-old reflected with a grin.
‘It’s nearly been the perfect year! I am really looking forward to the World Cup now – you never know, there might be a fourth trophy.’ Not bad for the scaffolder who used to earn £130-a-week at the ‘dirty, stinking’ Port Talbot steelworks.
‘I don’t think I’ll ever go back to scaffolding now!’ Williams laughs.
‘As soon as I played my first game for Wales I wasn’t a scaffolder anymore! It’s such hard work.
‘Guys asked “would you ever go back?” I wouldn’t have a clue now – it’s gone!
‘I took the medals back home to my mum, as she keeps them safe. I haven’t got that many, so hopefully I can get another one this year.’ On the journey to Japan – where Williams enjoyed his first Wales tour in 2013 – the full-back will face his Sarries team-mates twice in two weeks, when Warren Gatland’s side play England in warm-up matches this Sunday at next Saturday.
Williams lifted the Premiership title, European Cup and won a Six Nations Grand Slam
And having beaten Owen Farrell’s England in Cardiff during the Six Nations, Williams took the bragging-rights back to Saracens in the spring.
‘I did give them a bit of s*** after the last one, they just tell me to shut up!’ he adds.
‘I love playing against them, and with them as well. It’s always a great game with England, the rivalry is huge and that’s the best part of it.
‘We will smash each other for 80 minutes and then have a pint afterwards.’ Fourteen Tests unbeaten, Wales are the form nation in the world going into these preparatory fixtures. If they win five more they will break the record for consecutive wins by a Tier One nation.
And Williams thinks they will be better for gruelling training camps in Switzerland – at altitude – and back home in Glamorgan.
After beating England in Cardiff in the Six Nations, he took bragging rights back to Saracens
‘We had a good Six Nations winning the Grand Slam, then the boys went away, but we’re back now and pulling each other through the dark times,’ he says.
‘That’s what builds a team. Coming from the Six Nations it gives a lot of energy around the place.’ The boy from the steelworks is right on his mettle; and Williams is determined too.
Firstly to return to the country where he toured with Wales six years ago.
‘We lost one game, I remember that,’ he recalls of the 2013 tour to Japan.
‘We had a young squad and I had only won a couple of caps but was one of the older members of the squad (aged 22). It was a bit strange.
‘It’s an incredible place. People are lovely, very helpful if you talk to them through the language barrier. It’s a beautiful place and I look forward to going again… if picked!’ And secondly to return from there with yet another medal for his mother’s growing collection – especially having only played three times at the last World Cup before injury struck.
Liam Williams will need to stay fit and in form if he is to lift the World Cup with Wales this year
‘Four years ago I had an operation and my foot wasn’t right at all,’ he said.
‘I broke it then again against Australia – it was never ever going to be ok, I just had a chance to play in the World Cup so had to dig in.
‘I’ve been fit now for a while – with a couple of niggles here and there because of the long season – but we’re all getting stuck in now.
‘This is what I missed four years ago – not being with the boys.
‘To know it’s not just me in a dark place – we’re all in this dark place – we all help each other.
‘That’s what I love about it, you’re know you’re going to hell and back but you’re with your best mates so that helps.
‘I want to be one of the best in the world and play in World Cups.’ The first aim has already been achieved, the second will soon follow, and if he stays fit and in form Williams may well just complete his perfect year.