The Runner Sports

Liam Williams Joins European Champions Saracens

Liam Williams has been one of the bright spots in Wales’ up and down form in recent months and was one of the standouts in the summer tour of New Zealand. But him joining already strong Saracens is another blow for Welsh Rugby, losing its best players to other clubs.

Williams is probably seen as not only a replacement to the departing Chris Ashton but an upgrade, and it’s easy to understand why Saracens are the premier team in Europe with recruitment like this and cohesive play to back it up. The curiosity comes from Williams’ most potent position being full back when Saracens already have premiership player of the year Alex Goode. Williams is certainly effective from the wing but it may seem a waste to have one of the world’s best strike runners not being in a prominent position to counter attack, but as always with the Saracens you’d expect them to have a plan.

 

The so-called Gatland’s law, the law that applies to selecting Welsh players at clubs outside of Wales, will certainly be used on Williams along with Faletau and North. But this leaves little room to maneuver if more talented Welsh players leave for greener pastures in England and France, which is certainly not unfeasible due to the monetary incentives and chances of silverware. So even with lucrative offers to keep players in Wales from the Welsh Rugby Union, it seems unless the regions can become competitive in Europe, players will always leave for more successful teams.