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Lions pair Williams and Adams targeted by same French club

By Ian Cameron
Josh Adams of the British & Irish Lions charges upfield with Liam Williams in support during the 3rd test match between the South Africa Springboks and the British & Irish Lions at Cape Town Stadium on August 07, 2021 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Wales and Cardiff back three players Liam Williams and Josh Adams have been reportedly targeted by French Top 14 side Lyon.


Rugbyrama in France report that Xavier Garbajosa’s side are keen on both of the British & Irish Lions and actively seeking their signatures.

The two are currently playing for Dai Young’s Cardiff in the United Rugby Championship (URC), but the continuing uncertainty over salary and contracts could lead them to consider taking up lucrative offers in France. While progress has been made in recent weeks, under a new, self-imposed salary cap, regions will struggle to keep talent of the ilk of Williams and Adams.

Meanwhile Lyon, who are currently third in the Top 14 table, are keen to strengthen their squad with the addition of the proven finishers. The French club is known for its financial muscle and has been successful in attracting some of the world’s best players in recent years. In the case of Williams, LOU would have to beat the offer of Kobe Steelers in Japan, who have been linked with the 31-year-old in recent months.

The uncertainty over salary and contracts in the URC has made it difficult for Welsh rugby clubs to retain their top players in recent months. The pandemic has also added to the financial pressure on clubs, leading some players to consider moves to more financially stable clubs. Will Rowlands has already signed with Racing 92, while flyhalf Jarrod Evans has been linked with a move to Harlequins.


The proposed loosening of Wales’ 60-cap rule could also play a role in Adams’ decision to move. The rule, which requires players to have at least 60 caps for Wales to be eligible for selection while playing outside of Wales, has been under review by the Welsh Rugby Union. If the rule is relaxed, it would mean that Adams could play for Lyon but still be in contention for selection by Warren Gatland for Wales – an attractive proposition no doubt.


It remains to be seen whether one or both will accept the offer, but the prospect of playing in France’s top league and earning a lucrative salary may be too good to turn down.

Williams is an experienced Welsh fullback who has played for Wales on 83 occasions, scoring 18 tries. Josh Adams, on the other hand, has scored 20 tries in 47 appearances for Wales.


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