Cardiff fans have shown their relief that veteran No8 Nick Williams has agreed a new one-year deal with the region.
With his contract expiring at the end of the season, there were fears that the New Zealander would have to leave in the next few weeks as he is not a Welsh-qualified player. However, a deal has been wrangled with the Welsh Rugby Union, and Blues fans are delighted.
Since arriving Cardiff Arms Park from Ulster in 2016, Williams has been one of the club’s most reliable players at the back of the scrum. He would be one of the most skillful players in any team he played for and, combined with a 20-stone frame, it makes him a very useful player.
At the age of 35, he may not be in his athletic prime, but he has a huge amount of experience and makes a massive contribution every time he puts on the No8 shirt. The Cardiff fans are aware of this, as were the Ulster fans, and they have celebrated the news of his extension on Twitter:
Absolutely great news mate. You’ve been immense for us. Keep on smashing it up! ??
— Anthony Lewis (@tonylewis92) May 16, 2019
A special player, with all that experience to pass into younger @cardiff_blues players.
— Ian Titherington (@ianapharri) May 17, 2019
10 x better than any new signing we could have got! Glad we managed to convince the WRU
— Rupert Coales (@rupertcoales) May 16, 2019
It will be an honour to watch you play again.
— Matthew Cook (@Mattcook73Cook) May 16, 2019
Superb but only one season ? Plenty of time for a youngster like you ?????????????
— Wynn Griffiths (@wgriffiths69) May 17, 2019
Over the moon you’re staying.. an absolute inspiration to any player, not just the youngsters..
— Jon (@jonruk) May 17, 2019
Fantastic news that you’re staying. I’m sure you are a great mentor for the young players coming through but above all else you’re a great rugby player
— David Rees (@DavidRees8) May 17, 2019
So relieved to hear you’re staying with us! #strengththroughunity
— Tim (@taffmiles) May 16, 2019
Best news for ages. Stay forever @nick8williams
— Mr Idrive (@IDRIVECYMRU) May 17, 2019
Very happy you are staying Nick. Wouldn’t be the same without you. See you next season ?
— Julie Owen Moylan (@JulieOwenMoylan) May 17, 2019
After his deal was announced, Williams took to Instagram to thank Cardiff for sorting out the contract behind the scenes. Like many Cardiff fans, Williams would have been fearful that his career in the Welsh capital was coming to an abrupt end, and he will surely be as happy as the fans that he can stay for another year.
Williams’ influence seems very similar to that which Nick Easter had at Harlequins, and indeed with England, where he was still able to play at the highest level at the age of 38.
Although a veteran, Easter had a huge impact on his team, aided my his formidable frame, and Williams is very similar stylistically. It would not be surprising if the Kiwi still had a few more seasons in him, as he has shown no signs of letting up.
WATCH: Sam Warburton surprising a 90-year-old Cardiff Blues fan with a personalised drive to the club’s last game of the season
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