Cardiff Blues have announced that Nick Williams has signed a new contract, ending weeks of uncertainty over the number eight’s future.
There was news a few weeks ago that the Welsh Rugby Union, via the Professional Rugby Board, were blocking the re-signing of the 35-year-old on the grounds that he was preventing the development of young talent at the region.
However, that decision has now been correctly reversed, with anyone who has the gift of sight left in no doubt how crucial Williams has been to the Cardiff Blues since arriving from Ulster in the summer of 2016.
Despite many suggesting he was over the hill when signing, he has made 66 appearances in three seasons, establishing himself as a talisman in the first team with his performances, and a key leader via his actions off-the-field.
A man-of-the-match performance against Ospreys at Judgement Day proved the New Zealander is in no mood to slow down and he has signed on for another season, both to play and mentor young back rowers James Botham, Alun Lawrence and Shane Lewis-Hughes.
Speaking to the Cardiff Blues website, Williams said, “I’m very happy and blessed to be able to go again. I spoke to my family and they were all supportive, so I told John in November-time that I was keen to stick around.
“The body feels fresh, mentally I feel good and it all seems to be working for us so I’m happy to get another year. After winning the Challenge Cup I thought it was a good way to go out but I didn’t really think about what I could give back to rugby, particularly in regards to bringing young guys through.
“I have a good relationship with the boys. I’m a bit more kicked back and relaxed compared to some of the other boys. I like to lead with action and hopefully the boys follow.
“I really rate the young boys in the squad. We have a good group, who have come through together and are very tight. Hopefully I can help them develop and if they stick together the future is really bright both for Cardiff Blues and the individuals.
“I also like to think I’ve also been playing some decent rugby. We have a recipe here that works. Cardiff Blues look after me through the week and I pay them back by giving 110 per cent on the weekend. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to keep playing here.”