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Wales full-back Liam Williams has named his new club

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Danilo Di Giovanni/Getty Images)

Liam Williams will swap the URC in Wales for an adventure in Japan after he confirmed on Wednesday that he will play for Kubota Spears next season. The 32-year-old’s decision to join the Chiba-based club that last month won its first Japan League One title came on the back of months of financial rancour in the Welsh game.

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Having played just five times during his injury-hit one-season stay at Cardiff, Williams will now head to Japan having last played his club rugby outside Wales at Saracens from 2017 to 2019.

Pictured in a Spears’ jersey, he wrote on Twitter: “I’m delighted to announce that I have signed with Kubota Spears for next season. Kon’nichiwa, Orange Army!

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“I have fond memories of playing in Japan during the 2019 World Cup and will never forget how welcoming everyone was. I am looking forward to experiencing a new way of life with my wife Sophie and we are excited about the opportunity.

“I have made some incredible memories in Welsh rugby over the years and must thank the Welsh Rugby Union and Cardiff Rugby for their understanding in what has been a challenging few months. I will be doing everything possible to be selected for the World Cup campaign with Wales and am excited about the opportunity to be involved.”

On their club website, the Spears said: “We are pleased to announce that Liam Williams has been selected as a new player for the 2023/24 season of Kubota Spears Funabashi Tokyo Bay.”

Williams, the two-tour British and Irish Lions pick, started three times in the recent Guinness Six Nations for Wales and was named by Warren Gatland in the squad of 54 on May 1 for Rugby World Cup training.

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