Owen Williams reveals his relief at still playing professional

‘I’m just happy I’ve got a job’: Owen Williams reveals his relief at still playing professional rugby after Worcester’s financial woes left him unemployed… as the Wales fly-half prepares for Six Nations clash with France this weekend

  • Owen Williams was unemployed after Worcester’s financial woes in September
  • Just a few months later the fly-half was selected for Wales’ Six Nations squad 
  • Williams says he’s looking forward to challenge of beating France this weekend 

When Owen Williams was left unemployed at the same time his wife was pregnant with their first child, he could never have envisaged playing in the Six Nations only a few months later.

That is why the Wales fly-half is determined to enjoy every moment of being back in a Wales shirt, particularly so this week with Warren Gatland’s side training on the Cote d’Azur.

‘I’m just happy I’ve got a job,’ Williams said.

The 31-year-old has already had quite the season. After a stint in Japan during the pandemic, Williams – like his former colleagues – was hit hard by the demise of Worcester.

When the Warriors entered financial oblivion in September, Williams – like all the club’s employees – lost his job. Worse still, he was injured at the time with a broken thumb and had a baby on the way.

Fly-half Owen Williams is back on the big stage again after a difficult back end to 2022 

The 31-year-old was released by Worcester following their financial woes in September

Just a few months later the Williams  was selected for Wales’ Six Nations squad

Now, things are very different. On the field, Williams has found a new home at Welsh side Ospreys and is back playing international rugby. Off it, things are good too.

‘Honestly, the last six months has been a rollercoaster,’ said Williams, who started at No 10 as Wales got their first win of 2023 in Italy last weekend.

‘There’s a lot gone on in my personal life as well. I’ve had a baby, my first one, and then there was what happened at Worcester and getting injured. We could never have foreseen it.

‘We had a little one on the way so there were about three months when it was really stressful. We managed to get through it. We’ve got a healthy baby boy and I’ve got a job so that’s the main thing.

‘I was rehabbing on my own with the help of some of the Worcester physios. Then the Ospreys threw me a lifeline. They gave me an opportunity and it went well for a couple of months which gave me a shop window. I’m really grateful for that opportunity.

‘As cliché as it sounds, it’s just week to week at the moment. You sometimes take things a little bit for granted. It probably gave me a kick up the backside. 

‘There are still lots of good players who were at that team (Worcester) who don’t have jobs now so it just makes me really grateful.’

Williams is 31, but his start in Rome was only his sixth Welsh cap. He was ineligible for Test rugby for long periods after moving to play in England with Leicester and Gloucester before a short stint in Japan with the Red Hurricanes and then a return to the UK at Worcester.

Being back in Welsh rugby has happened more by accident than design, but Williams has embraced the change.‘What happened at Worcester is really sad,’ he added.

‘I had two months of training there on my own. If you had told me then I would be playing for Wales in the Six Nations I would have laughed at you. 

‘I am just pleased with the way things have gone over the last three or four months.’

After a much-needed victory in Rome following a period of misery in Welsh rugby, Gatland’s senior team are preparing to face France with a training camp in sunny Nice.

Wales secured their first win of the 2023 Six Nations with a win away in Italy on Saturday

France played rugby from the heavens to inflict a worst ever home defeat on England

Doing so is to mimic preparations for the World Cup, also in France, later this year.A ‘Super Saturday’ meeting with Les Bleus is Wales’ final Six Nations challenge and a daunting one in the wake of their seven-try destruction of England at Twickenham.

France played rugby from the heavens to inflict a worst ever home defeat on England and still have hopes of a Six Nations title.They will need Ireland to blow their grand slam bid against England in Dublin to have a chance.

You could be forgiven for thinking Wales would be daunted by the prospect of meeting France, but Williams isn’t. He is determined to enjoy every minute of being back at rugby’s elite level, especially after his recent experiences showed him how easily it can all be taken away.

‘They’re a very good team,’ Williams said of France.‘They’ve got everything to play for and we’ve got nothing to lose. It’s going to be a tough one but we’ll look forward to that challenge.’

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