Wales still deserve respect - Williams
Flanker Martin Williams believes Wales deserve more respect despite their disappointing Six Nations campaign.
The Cardiff player says there is too much negativity surrounding Welsh rugby which is damaging the national sport.
Williams says Wales were determined to bring their international season to a close on a positive note against France and felt they had a "point to prove" to the doom-mongers.
Sure enough, Wales produced the performance they craved at the Millennium Stadium and gave France a major scare until Florian Fritz scored just eight minutes from time.
France ran out 21-16 winners and celebrated by lifting the the Six Nations trophy, while Wales were left pondering the whys and wherefores of a turbulent campaign.
Wales finished with just one win and one draw from five games, they failed to score in the last quarter of any match and became the first side ever to drop a championship point at home to Italy.
Unsurprisingly, both players and coaching staff were on the receiving end of some barbed comments during the week.
Williams explained: "We had a point to prove as a group and as individuals. It has been a hell of a six weeks for us. We have given everything and I don’t think people have respected us for that.
"You accept criticism, it is part of the game, but it is the negativity the squad can’t handle. It gets to you in the end, it drags the game down in Wales and we need to lift that negativity.
"Although we didn’t have the result at the end, there are more positives than negatives to take from the France match. The boys have given everything in this campaign and haven’t been backed by a lot of people. But we stuck tight and showed what we can do."