Scarlets boss Glenn Delaney has revealed that Liam Williams rang referee Craig Evans to apologise for his red-carded actions on January 9 which led to the ban that has ruled him out of Wales’ Six Nations opener at home to Ireland on February 7.
Williams was sent off during Scarlets’ defeat to Cardiff for making contact with the head of a prone Shane Lewis-Hughes and he then contested the red card, arguing with the referee and dismissively commenting, “We’ll start playing touch, is it?”
The 29-year-old was roundly criticised for his behaviour, RugbyPass Offload co-host Simon Zebo among those who took the experienced Wales back to task for his reaction to what was by all accounts a deserved sending-off.
It has now emerged that Williams took it upon himself to make amends in the aftermath by calling referee Evans and admitting he had got it wrong. Speaking at a Scarlets media briefing ahead of this Friday’s return game against Cardiff at Llanelli, Delaney told walesonline.co.uk: “He had a phone call with the referee afterwards. It was a hot-headed moment.
“We have all been in those situations. Nobody is condoning it. Unprompted, Liam made the call to Craig, the referee, and Craig accepted that. He had moved on as well.
Fear is that rugby is on slippery slope towards being like football in a very negative wayhttps://t.co/0wLsNwxrqX
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) January 16, 2021
“Liam understands. Deep down, he is a competitor who plays on the edge but he knows that’s a step too far. The sanction comes first, so it’s all been dealt with 100 per cent correctly. He was lost for our game for a period of time and now he is sitting out three games.
“There is an impact on us and the national side. There are massive consequences to that event. It’s been spoken about in detail and there are a lot of opinions around it, which is the nature of the game.”
Williams was named in Wayne Pivac’s 36-man Six Nations squad on Wednesday and the red card was touched on at the Wales media briefing as well. “I spoke to Liam on the weekend that it happened. I was at the game and it was disappointing for all concerned,” said Pivac.
“Liam has been out of the game for a while. He is a frustrated player and he just wants to get out there. He hasn’t had the contact but he is that sort of player, he is a physical player by nature. He made an error of judgement and he will pay the price by missing three matches, which won’t help his preparation for the Six Nations. He will also miss a Test match as a result.”
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) January 20, 2021
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