Saracens sign Wales back Liam Williams from Scarlets

25-year-old joins on three-year deal and will now require wildcard from Warren Gatland

Liam Williams is to join Saracens from Scarlets. Photograph: Getty/Stu Forster

Liam Williams is to join Saracens from Scarlets. Photograph: Getty/Stu Forster

 

Saracens have confirmed the signing of Wales international Liam Williams on a three-year deal, with the Scarlets flyer moving to Allianz Park for the start of next season.

Williams has won 38 caps since his Wales debut in 2012, and will replace Toulon-bound Chris Ashton at Saracens next season.

The 25-year-old will have to rely on a wildcard from boss Warren Gatland to continue his Wales career next term, when he leaves the Welsh regions.

Saracens rugby director Mark McCall hailed a statement signing of a top-level Test operator, who is equally comfortable on the wing or at full-back.

“Liam’s arrival at Allianz Park next season is fantastic news,” said Saracens boss McCall.

“He is only 25 years old and has his best years of rugby ahead of him.

“Liam is arguably one of the most talented backs in Europe so to have secured his signing is a real coup for the club.

“We’ll look forward to welcoming him in the summer.”

The so-called Gatland’s Law limits the Wales head coach’s number of Test squad selections from players plying their trade outside of the four Welsh regions.

Williams is the latest of Gatland’s top assets to take the calculated gamble of leaving Welsh rugby while also aiming to continue their Test career.

“I am really excited about joining Saracens and having the opportunity to challenge myself in the Aviva Premiership,” said Williams.

“The club’s reputation speaks for itself and I am looking forward to the next chapter of my career.

“I wouldn’t be the player I am without the incredible support from the Scarlets’ management, players, back-room staff and passionate supporters. I will be giving my all for the remainder of the season and hope to help finish on a high.”

The Scarlets insisted they mounted a strong fight to retain one of theirs and Wales’ top assets, but eventually had to bow to Williams’ wishes.

“Liam has been an asset to the region and will be missed both on and off the field,” said Scarlets’ general manager of rugby Jon Daniels.

“He will always be a Scarlet and we thank him for his total commitment and passion for the region.

“We fought hard to retain Liam but having taken everything into consideration including his personal circumstances he has decided to pursue new challenges which we respect totally.”

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.