Liam Williams: Guinness Six Nations Player of the Championship nominee

Heading into this year’s Championship, Liam Williams was in a real fight for a starting berth in a competitive Welsh back three.

Heading into this year’s Championship, Liam Williams was in a real fight for a starting berth in a competitive Welsh back three.


But now the full-back is a Grand Slam winner and a member of the six-man shortlist for the Guinness Six Nations Player of the Championship.

The 27-year-old has often had to play second fiddle to Leigh Halfpenny at 15, but injury prevented the Scarlets man from making the start of the Championship, and Williams swooped in to claim the jersey.

A key cog in the second-half comeback against France in Round One, Williams made 90m on ten carries to flag his importance to Warren Gatland.

The following week in Rome, the Swansea native again proved his worth, grabbing a vital assist for Josh Adams as Wales ground out a tightly-fought win that saw the nation win their 11th Test in a row.

With questions posed ahead of their grandstand clash with England – namely by Eddie Jones himself – Gatland needed his stars to shine, and Williams duly obliged.

A Guinness Man of the Match performance in an imperious display that highlighted his versatility, Williams not only carried with incision, but relieved pressure under the high ball throughout, successfully nullifying England’s threatening kicking game.

His second-half injury against Scotland – not before he had again recorded another ten-carry game in his typically bustling style – raised question marks over his involvement in Wales’ Round Five decider this weekend.

But Williams shook off his knock – much to the relief of fans and Gatland alike – and was once again crucial as they wrapped up Grand Slam glory.

He also showcased his versatility, sliding from full-back to wing in the first half after an injury to George North but still producing the goods time and again.

After a Championship to remember, Williams’ displays this year will send him down in Welsh rugby folklore.

With Wales by no means playing the rugby that we came to expect towards the latter rounds of the Championship in Rome, they were in need of a spark.

And when Williams stepped up, with Wales only two points in front and Italy in the ascendancy early in the second half, to break the line and feed Adams with a cute pass to score, there was a huge sigh of relief breathed throughout the Welsh camp.

Surely one of the Championship’s turning points, from that moment on Wales never looked back as they streaked on to the Grand Slam.