New challenge excites Williams

2013-07-25 21:30
Ali Williams (AFP)

Toulon - Former All Black lock Ali Williams, a World Cup winner in 2011, was presented as Toulon's latest A-list star Thursday and insisted he was braced for a new career challenge.

The 32-year-old, who will join the European champions in October once his Auckland Blues deal expires, said the opportunity to play in the French Top 14 was too good to turn down.

"In New Zealand and after 11 years with the All Blacks, I have won everything (World Cup, Tri-Nations, Super 12 and Super 14 titles)," said Williams.

"I have been given the chance to play alongside great players in the European Cup and when such an opportunity came up, I couldn't turn it down," added the veteran of 77 internationals.

"Toulon is a special club in world rugby. I know that the passion which surrounds the team is incredible.

"My dad (who is English) told me to come to Toulon where they have the best supporters in Europe."

On May 24, Williams announced his retirement from international rugby having made his debut in November 2002 against England.

His last All Blacks appearance was against Italy last November in Rome. He scored seven tries in his international career.

Williams will join up with Toulon after the New Zealand domestic competition is concluded on October 13.

He is the club's second new big-name star to be unveiled in two days following South Africa winger Bryan Habana on Wednesday.

Read more on:    ali williams  |  rugby

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