Planet Rugby

Williams extends Ulster stay

02nd October 2013 11:30

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Ulster number eight Nick Williams passing

New deal: Nick Williams

Kiwi number eight Nick Williams has opted to extend his contract at Ulster, tying him to the Ravenhill side until 2016.

Williams' previous contract was poised to run out at the end of the current of the season, but the back-row has put pen to paper on a new deal after first signing for the club in June 2012.

His dynamic ball-carrying ability and fearsome strength in the tackle quickly saw him become something of a cult hero at the Pro12 province, and his fine form last season won the New Zealander seven man-of-the-match awards.

Williams' contemporaries also recognised the number eight's prowess, voting him the RaboDirect Pro12 Player's Player of the Season and Irish Rugby Union Player's Association Player of the Year.

"It's always nice to stay where you're happy," said Williams.

"My family and I have settled really well and it means I can go out and enjoy myself on the pitch. Everything has fallen into place and I wouldn't want to play anywhere else to be honest."

The 29-year-old also claimed his side were well-placed to enjoy another strong season.

"We're very excited for this season. The core of the group from last season is still here and after a few injuries last season, we've got boys coming back in who are now 100%," added Williams.

"When you play the game you want to win silverware. We lost in the PRO12 final last year and it was very tough to take. Departing at the quarters in the Heineken Cup was gut wrenching as well so I guess there's some unfinished business. It's a stronger squad now and hopefully we will have a better season."

David Humphreys, Ulster Director of Rugby, was thrilled with Williams' decision to commit to the province.

"Nick's level of performance throughout last season was instrumental to Ulster finishing top of the RaboDirect PRO12 and extending his contract for another 2 years is a huge boost to everyone associated with Ulster," said the former Ireland fly-half.

"He is a genuine entertainer and is someone who possesses the ability to inspire the players around him and get the crowd on their feet. Off the field, he's a tremendous personality to have around the dressing room and I'm delighted he's committed to Ulster until 2016."

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