Wales great Williams finally retires

Date published: November 6 2014

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Former Wales and Lions winger Shane Williams is finally hanging up his boots at the end of the current Japanese season.

Former Wales and Lions winger Shane Williams is finally hanging up his boots at the end of the current Japanese season.

Williams played his last game for the Ospreys in dramatic fashion when his try won the Pro12 Final in 2012, while his final try for Wales was also a special moment against Australia in 2011.

The 37-year-old however took up a major offer from Mitsubishi Dynaboars, where he has spent the last three seasons. The time though has now finally come for Williams to call it a day.

“I have played in games where I would much rather be coaching. It’s tough rugby out there. There are a lot of Samoans, Tongans, South Africans, Kiwis,” Williams told the Telegraph.

“But it has been amazing. I’m so glad I took the opportunity. The kids couldn’t believe it; just how many people there are.

“If you go to Shibuya or Shinjuku, there are hundreds of thousands of people crossing the road, going into work, the trains are jam-packed. I was overwhelmed by it, so certainly the kids were. But they loved it. They were only over for a bit but they speak better Japanese than me.

“Everyone is so friendly, polite. Plus, it’s nice to feel tall for a change!”

Williams is third on the all-time Test try scorers list with a remarkable 58 tries in 87 Tests, along with two for the Lions.

The Welsh backline today doesn’t feature anyone similar to his size, but Williams hopes that other players of his stature still have a place in international rugby.

“It’s a bit sad. I am part of a dying breed. But then, what you are getting these days is the likes of George North, who is an absolute tank of a player but has great feet as well. Their football skills and brains are up there with the best of them. So why do you need a 12-stone soaking-wet player when you have guys like this?

“Probably the smallest man in the Wales set-up currently is Leigh Halfpenny and he is not a small guy. He pulls his top off and he is built like Hercules. But I hope there is still a place for the smaller guy, the more nimble guy, the guy who takes risks.”

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