Liam Williams: Wales stalwart eyes 100 caps at Rugby World Cup as new start at Cardiff begins

Adam Kyriacou
Liam Williams on a run for Wales against South Africa

Wales veteran Liam Williams is targeting 100 international caps as he looks ahead to the season at Cardiff after his move from Scarlets.

The 31-year-old returned to his home country in 2020 after a stint in England at Saracens but has now swapped Llanelli for Cardiff ahead of 2022/23.

And with a Rugby World Cup looming in France next year, he knows this campaign is a significant one as he looks to build on his impressive cap record.

Looking for a century of caps

“The aim would be to do the next World Cup which is this time next year,” the full-back told BBC Sport when talking about attempting to hit that century.

“If I can to get that hopefully I can get to 100 caps as well. That is just a dream. Just winning one cap is an honour, but having come so far and having a few left to go is at the back of mind.

“For me, it’s about staying fit first and playing well for Cardiff, getting a run of games and hopefully getting selected for the autumn and Six Nations.

“I will just be doing everything I can off the pitch to keep myself fit and available for selection.”

Williams was part of the recent tour to South Africa where they went down to a 2-1 series loss, a showing many watchers believed was solid from Wales.

But the vastly experienced back came away from the July Tests with regret as he felt the Welsh should have been victorious against the world champions.

“I think we should have come away with a series victory if I am perfectly honest,” he revealed.

“The first game got away from us in the last 15 minutes with some calls we could not control ourselves.

“After losing the first and winning the second, it was tough going into the third.

“We picked almost the same team for the three games and it’s hard to go back-to-back.”

Williams, who got married after July’s tour, is back in pre-season mode with Cardiff and has a familiar face in Taulupe Faletau as his fellow new signing.

“Pre-season gets harder every year, but you need to do it to get fit,” said the full-back.

“Toby seems fitter than most at the moment so he is looking good and running really well and will be a big asset to this club.”

On his move from Scarlets to Cardiff, Williams believes that a switch was essential for him and he can’t wait to play under Dai Young in the Welsh capital.

“Personally I think it was time for a change,” he added.

“I wasn’t enjoying my rugby towards the end of the season down there and picked up a couple of injuries in the middle of the season also.

“So a change of place and scenery was needed and I am living up in Cardiff as well. It was a lot easier than travelling an hour up and down there from home every day.

“I was speaking to Dai Young towards the back end of last season and I fancied a different challenge.

“I know a good group of the lads here at Cardiff and I spoke to them during the Six Nations.

“I had an in-depth conversation with them and that’s probably the reason why I left the Scarlets for here.”

Feeling good in Cardiff

He continued: “It feels good and I am happy to be here.

“There are a great group of lads here who have made feel very welcome and I have settled in well.

“Cardiff did not go too well at the back end of last season, but we are into a brand new season now.

“The mood here is good and the boys have been working hard in pre-season.

“We have not spoken about winning the league or anything like that. We want to compete every single game and hopefully get a few wins along the road.

“Hopefully we will be up the top towards the back end of the season and we will be working hard to stay in the top half.”

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