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Williams gets thumbs up from All Blacks team-mate

Owen Williams in action against New Zealand in 2017

Williams gets thumbs up from All Blacks team-mate

Owen Williams will be heading back to the UK to play his rugby next season and his half-back partner in Japan’s Top League believes he is worth more than the three Welsh caps he has to date.

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All Blacks scrum-half TJ Perenara, who was part of New Zealand’s 2015 World Cup-winning squad, insists the 29-year-old Welshman is one of the best players he has played with since linking up with him at NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes.

Williams has signed for Worcester Warriors in the English Premiership for the 2021/22 campaign and so will remain unavailable to Wayne Pivac at international level because of the 60 cap rule.

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But Perenara reckons his half-back pal still has a lot offer at the highest level of the game.

“We got into a discussion over lunch at training about our international careers. When he said he’s only played three games for Wales I was really shocked because of how good of a player he is for us,” said Perenara.

“His knowledge of the game, how he sees the game and what he was doing for the Red Hurricanes in and around training  means you’d think he was a 50-Test player.

“He’s spoken about his injuries and he’s had a few big injuries which have held him back.

“There are also some really good players in his position in Wales too. But he’s still a player who could quite easily be a 50-Test player and it’s been a real pleasure to have played with him.”

TJ Perenara of New Zealand takes on Leigh Halfpenny of Wales in Cardiff in 2017

His knowledge of the game, how he sees the game and what he was doing for the Red Hurricanes in and around training  means you’d think he was a 50-Test player

Despite having figured sparingly for Wales, Williams has enjoyed a stellar club career, excelling at the Scarlets, Leicester Tigers, and Gloucester before moving to Japan.

The 69-times capped Perenara has played with some of the best No 10s in the world game including Dan Carter, Aaron Cruden, Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo’unga, but reckons Williams is right up there with the very best.

“I’ve been very impressed by Owen. His attention to detail, his professionalism, the way he sees the game I think it something I’ve really learned and taken a lot from,” he added.

“We often dissect our games together and preview other teams together hust to get his perspective.

“He sees some things I don’t see and we get a lot of things the same, but he will see a certain move a certain way that I thought differently of. He then makes me think of things a different way.

“He’s a real student of the game. I love his professionalism and the way he prepares himself week in week out, so it’s been a pleasure to be in the same team as him.

“I think he’s a tremendous player.”

He’s a real student of the game. I love his professionalism and the way he prepares himself week in week out, so it’s been a pleasure to be in the same team as him

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