Nick Williams agrees new deal with Ulster
Number eight signs two-year contract extension to remain at Ravenhill
Ulster’s Nick Williams: “Everything has fallen into place and I wouldn’t want to play anywhere else to be honest.”
Ulster’s dynamic number eight Nick Williams has signed a new two year contract with the province. If that is a sign of the things to come, Ulster can be pleased as Springbok Ruan Pienaar is widely believed to be moving to France when his contract expires at the end of this season. The contracts of Kiwi John Afoa and captain Johann Muller also expire at the end of this season.
The province transformed the career of Williams, who moved from Munster to Italian side Aironi before settling into the Ulster backrow in 2012. The deal will keep the Kiwi in Belfast until 2016, which will please the fans and coaching staff alike. A powerful ball carrier Williams earned seven man of the match awards in his debut season.
His contribution to Ulster was further acknowledged in May, when he won two awards voted for by his peers; the RaboDirect PRO12 Players’ Player of the Season and the Irish Rugby Union Players Association’s Player of the Year.
“My family and I have settled really well and it means I can go out and enjoy myself on the pitch,” Williams said today. “Everything has fallen into place and I wouldn’t want to play anywhere else to be honest.
“We’re very excited for this season. The core of the group from last season is still here and after a few injuries last season, we’ve got boys coming back in who are now 100 per cent. It’s a stronger squad now and hopefully we will have a better season.”
Ulster’s Director of Rugby, David Humphreys commented on Williams influence both on and off the pitch: “Nick’s level of performance throughout last season was instrumental to Ulster finishing top of the PRO12 and extending his contract for another 2 years is a huge boost to everyone associated with Ulster Rugby,” said the former Irish outhalf.
“He is a genuine entertainer and is someone who possesses the ability to inspire the players around him and get the crowd on their feet. Off the field, he’s a tremendous personality to have around the dressing room and I’m delighted he’s committed to Ulster until 2016.”
According to Ulster coach Mark Anscombe, who was in Dublin with his captain Muller on Monday for the launch of the Heineken Cup, the contracts of the other players are currently being discussed. It has been reported in the French media that Pienaar has already agreed a two-year deal with Toulon.