Williams rejects Wales return

Date published: January 5 2015

Fly-half Owen Williams has ended speculation on his future by agreeing a new contract to stay with Leicester Tigers.

Williams, 22, joined Tigers from the Scarlets in 2013 and has now topped 300 points for the club.

“Owen has done an excellent job for us since he came here 18 months ago and I’m delighted that he wants to stay in the longer term and has now agreed a new contract,” said Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill.

“He has settled very well here and has gained experience of some massive occasions with Tigers both in Aviva Premiership and in Europe during the last two seasons.

“Owen has shown a great attitude to his work, and he is learning and developing his game all the time in a very tough environment which says a lot about him.

“We have two very good, young and ambitious fly-halves in Owen and Freddie Burns, which can only be good for them as players and also for the team as a whole.”

Williams started games in the knockout stages of both Premiership and European Cup in his first season with the Tigers, ending 2013/14 as the club’s top points-scorer with 187 in 16 starts and eight appearances from the bench. He has added another 135 points so far this season in another 17 appearances.

Reports in the English and Welsh press on Monday revealed that Williams had turned down the chance to sign a dual contract and return to the Scarlets.

Rhys Priestland’s unconfirmed departure to Bath has left the Scarlets with a vacancy, but Williams will not be filling it.

Premiership champions Northampton Saints were also reportedly interested in signing the 22-year-old.

Williams has been with Leicester since 2013, with Toby Flood and Ryan Lamb leaving Welford Road during that time and Williams currently in contention with England number ten Freddie Burns.

Staying in the Premiership would put Williams’ chances of playing for Wales into major doubt.