News24

Williams to end against Wales

2012-02-06 18:09

Cardiff - Wales great Shane Williams is set to end his career by playing for the Barbarians against his country in June.

The 34-year-old wing retired from international rugby in November as Wales' record try-score with 58 in 87 appearances.

Williams, who also won four caps for the British and Irish Lions, had planned to hang up his boots at the end of the season in May with club side the Ospreys, the Welsh region with whom he is set to fill an ambassadorial role following the end of his playing days.

But the Barbarians, rugby union's best-known invitational side, have come calling and Williams has been included in their squad for the non-cap internationals against England at Twickenham (May 27), Ireland at Premiership side Gloucester's Kingsholm ground in south-west England (May 29) and Wales in Cardiff (June 2).

"I've always said that I would never stay on too long and play rugby just for the sake of it," Williams explained on Monday.

"Finishing playing for Wales after the World Cup felt like the right decision, and now I've had the chance to reflect on where I'm at, it feels right that this season will be my last," Williams said.

"I'm delighted to have sorted out the ambassadorial role with the Ospreys which means I can continue to help the region I love.

"I've played for the Barbarians once before and when I was offered the chance to play this summer I had no hesitation in accepting the honour.

"The Barbarians is a wonderful institution and sums up everything that is good about the game of rugby.

"To have a chance to finish by playing against Wales in Cardiff is an incredible opportunity and will bring my career full circle."

Williams's Test career finished in emotional fashion when, with virtually the last touch of the game, he scored a try in Wales's defeat to Australia at the Millennium Stadium in November.

AFP