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Ospreys and Scarlets swap centres in Welsh mega deal

By RugbyPass
Wales centre Scott Williams

Ospreys Rugby are have announced the signing of Wales and Scarlets centre, Scott Williams, on a three-year deal. Conversely, Kieron Fonotia will move to Scarlets from the Ospreys.

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Described as a “significant statement of intent” the addition of the 50-cap international to the squad for next season is the first in a line of anticipated signings to be announced, with more to follow over the coming weeks.

Williams has been a key figure for both the region and nation over the last seven years. He made four appearances in Wales’ 2012 Grand Slam, scoring a late winning try against England at Twickenham, then made the same number in the following year’s Championship success.

After committing to the Ospreys until 2021, the 27-year old from Newcastle Emlyn said:

“I hope it goes without saying that this has not been an easy decision for me, but ultimately, I feel it is a move that is the right option for me at this time in my career.

“I’ve loved every minute of my 11 years at the Scarlets. I will always be grateful to the Board, Wayne and his team, and all associated with the club, for their support over those years.

“I’m now looking forward to a fresh challenge at the Ospreys. I’m excited about the their mid and long-term plans and goals, and my role there as a senior player. I hope it will allow me to continue improving and developing, both as a player and as a person, which is a great motivator for me.

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“Once this weekend and the international period are complete, I’ll be back at the Scarlets determined to positively contribute to achieving our goals for this season.”

He reached a half-century of Wales appearances in last weekend’s test match against New Zealand, a game in which he scored his 11th international try.

After making his regional debut against the Ospreys in 2010, Williams has played 123 times for the Scarlets, scoring 21 tries, helping them to the Guinness PRO12 title last season.

Welcoming the addition of a player who combines a physical edge with silky skills, Ospreys Head Coach, Steve Tandy, said Williams was someone who would get supporters excited:

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“Scott is a quality player who has consistently delivered at the highest level of the game and would be a welcome addition to any squad. He’s someone we’ve admired for some time, a leader who has captained Wales and the Scarlets, and he’s the kind of signing that excites supporters.

“For us to secure his signature in the face of real competition is a significant statement of intent about what we are trying to do at the Ospreys and our ambition to ensure we can continue to compete at the top end.

“Everybody at the Ospreys is delighted to get this over the line and we are excited about what Scott will bring to the environment next season, on and off the field, as he starts a new chapter in his career with his best years still ahead of him.”

Kieron Fonotia has confirmed that he will head west to join the Scarlets next season.

Fonotia joined the Ospreys from Crusaders 12 months ago and has made 29 appearances for the region, scoring six tries.

Speaking after confirming his move, Fonotia said:

“I’m excited about what lies ahead for me, but I’m not thinking too far down the line as there is still plenty of work to do at the Ospreys. I’ve been made to feel at home here and have enjoyed my time with the region and I want to make sure I do my bit over the coming months to ensure we hit the right form to make sure we finish the season on a high.”

Steve Tandy, Ospreys Head Coach, commented:

“Kieron still has a big role to play with the Ospreys between now and the end of the season. Given the character he is, we know that he will continue to give 100 per cent until then and remain entirely focused on our cause.”

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William 1 hours ago
All Blacks vs England takeaways: Richie Who? Time for Cortez

Correct analysis of Perofeta’s bungling of the try opportunity Ben. Never ‘fixed’ Steward as he came across in defence and passed too early. Steward didn’t have to break his stride and simply moved on to pressure Telea. Never scanned the easier option of passing to the two supporting players on the inside. Beauden Barrett showed how it is done when he put Telea in for his try. Another point from the game is that the rush defence is hard to maintain as the number of phases increases. From scrums the defensive line only contains backs who all have roughly the same pace. Once forwards are involved, the defence has players with variable speeds often leading to a jagged line. It also tends to lose pace overall giving the attack more time and space. Beauden Barrett’s break to set up Telea’s try came because Baxter went in to tackle McKenzie and Steward went out to cover Telea. Barrett has a massive hole to run through, then commits Steward by passing as late as possible and Telea scores untouched. Another comment I would make is that Ben Earl is a good player and generally an excellent defender but he made three significant misses in the series, two of which led to All Black tries. Got stepped by Perofeta in Dunedin for Savea’s try, missed McKenzie in Auckland leading to what should have been a certain try being set up by Perofeta and was one of the tacklers who couldn’t stop Savea in the leadup to Telea’s first try. Perhaps he should contact Owen Farrell to pick up a few tips from ‘tackle school’.

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