Shane Williams has hung up his Test rugby boots after playing his final game for Wales against the Wallabies on the weekend. He has since been offered an extension on his Ospreys contract, but will more than likely stick to his original plans.
It was meant to be a fairytale ending to a wonderful career and while the scriptwriters got the final play of the game spot on, Wales’ 24-18 loss to Australia was not quite the way superstar Williams had planned to end things.
The twice British & Irish Lions tourist will turn 35 next month and despite still looking in great shape and recording excellent times on his speed tests, he has insisted that now is the right time to end things with Wales.
“If I had the chance to keep on playing rugby for Wales until I was 50 I’d do it. But I wouldn’t be very good! So there are no second thoughts, although I feared there might be,” said Williams.
“People have questioned why I am retiring. There’s a lot of pressure from people within the camp and outside, with the family and everything. But I expected that. This just feels right to me. It’s difficult to explain, but you know within yourself when it’s time to move on to other things.
“I can’t believe what I have achieved in a Welsh jersey. It hasn’t been perfect, in fact it’s been tough along the way. But I’ve worked very hard. If there’s one thing I’m proud of, it’s how hard I have worked to get where I am.
“I never would have thought I’d be playing for Wales at all, let alone for 11 years,” he said.
In terms of his contract extension with the Ospreys, he says he’s happy with how things are at the moment, and has hinted that he might want to get into coaching at some stage in the future.
“I’ve got this season and next season left in my playing contract. I’ve already been offered an extension to stay another year, but I think realistically two years will be where I want to be. You can never say never, but I’m sure in two years’ time that I’d like to be doing other things,” he said.
Below is his final try, emotional interviews after the game, as well as a great video with some comments from fans and former players, including Welsh legends Gareth Edwards and JJ Williams.
Highlights from this and other big games from the weekend will be posted soon.
Credit: With thanks to BBC & Scrum V