Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global
NZ NZ

Gloucester sign Wales star Tomos Williams - report

By Ian Cameron
Wales's Tomos Williams in action during the Rugby International match between Wales and Barbarians at Principality Stadium on November 4, 2023 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Ian Cook - CameraSport via Getty Images)

The BBC are reporting that Welsh scrum-half Tomos Williams has signed a deal to join Gallagher Premiership side Gloucester from Cardiff.

ADVERTISEMENT

The 29-year-old – who has 53 caps for Wales – will remain eligible for national selection despite the switch.

Williams is set to depart for Kingsholm ahead of the 2024-25 season. The move comes amidst financial strains in Welsh rugby, with Cardiff and other Welsh regions facing major budget cuts.

Video Spacer

Red Roses Head Coach: John Mitchell excited for RWC 2025

Video Spacer

Red Roses Head Coach: John Mitchell excited for RWC 2025

A two-time Six Nations champion, Williams has been a vital part of Wales’ recent successes. His departure is a significant loss for Cardiff, where he has been a homegrown hero since his debut in 2013, scoring 25 tries in 137 appearances.

Head coach Matt Sherratt praised Williams – a standout player for Cardiff this season and one of the most devastating attacking scrum-halves in Europe – as one of the most talented players he’s worked with.

Welsh club rugby is in the middle of something of a financial overhaul. Budgets are set to shrink to £4.5m for the 2024-25 season. This reduction from the previous £7m and £5.2m in successive seasons is prompting player movements.

The 5’11, 84kg nine follows the trend of Welsh players moving abroad, with teammates like Liam Williams and Gareth Anscombe moving to Japan and Welsh legend Dan Biggar having left Northampton for Toulon.

ADVERTISEMENT

Williams will compete alongside the likes of Italy’s Stephen Varney and Caolan Englefield, while fellow halfback Micky Young’s contract concludes in June.

Prop Rhys Carre is also heading out the door at Cardiff, with a return to English champions Saracens on the cards. The 25-year-old spent the 2019/20 season in London having joined from Cardiff, but went back to the Welsh capital the following season after Saracens’ relegation.

Despite playing some part in Wales 2023 Six Nations campaign, the loosehead was released early from Warren Gatland’s World Cup training camp due to concerns around his fitness.

Related

ADVERTISEMENT

Join free

Chasing The Sun | Series 1 Episode 1

Fresh Starts | Episode 1 | Will Skelton

ABBIE WARD: A BUMP IN THE ROAD

Aotearoa Rugby Podcast | Episode 9

James Cook | The Big Jim Show | Full Episode

New Zealand victorious in TENSE final | Cathay/HSBC Sevens Day Three Men's Highlights

New Zealand crowned BACK-TO-BACK champions | Cathay/HSBC Sevens Day Three Women's Highlights

Japan Rugby League One | Bravelupus v Steelers | Full Match Replay

Trending on RugbyPass

Comments

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free
ADVERTISEMENT

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

P
Poorfour 3 hours ago
The AI advantage: How the next two Rugby World Cups will be won

AI models are really just larger and less transparent variants of the statistical models that have been in use since Moneyball was invented. And a big difference between the Icahn centre’s results and AI today is that ChatGPT-like Large Language Models can explain (to some degree) how they reached their conclusions. In terms of what impact they will have, I suspect it will have two primary impacts: 1) It will place a premium on coaching creativity 2) It will lead to more selections that baffle fans and pundits. Analysts will be able to run the models both ways: they will see their own team’s and players’ weaknesses and strengths as well as the opposition’s. So they will have a good idea at what the other team will be targeting and the decisive difference may well be which coaches are smart enough to think of a gameplan that the other side didn’t identify and prepare for. For players, it places a premium on three key things: 1) Having a relatively complete game with no major weaknesses (or the dedication to work on eliminating them) 2) Having the tactical flexibility to play a different game every week 3) Having a point of difference that is so compelling that there isn’t a defence for it. (3) is relatively rare even among pro players. There have been only a handful of players over the years where you knew what they were going to do and the problem was stopping it - Lomu would be the classic example. And even when someone does have that, it’s hard to sustain. Billy Vunipola in his prime was very hard to stop, but fell away quite badly when the toll on his body began to accumulate. So coaches will look for (1) - a lack of exploitable weaknesses - and (2) - the ability to exploit others’ weaknesses - ahead of hoping for (3), at least for the majority of the pack. Which is likely to mean that, as with the original Moneyball, competent, unshowy players who do the stuff that wins matches will win out over outrageous talents who can’t adapt to cover their own weaknesses. Which will leave a lot of people on the sidelines sputtering over the non-inclusion of players whose highlights reels are spectacular, but whose lowlight reels have been uncovered by AI… at least until the point where every fan has access to a sporting analysis AI.

8 Go to comments
TRENDING
TRENDING Damian McKenzie labels young All Blacks hopeful a 'serious threat' The Damian McKenzie verdict on Cortez Ratima
Search