Williams living the Welsh dream
July 19, 2011
Williams has only appeared 20 times for the Scarlets but made Gatland's 35-man training squad in Poland © Getty Images
Scarlets centre Scott Williams admits he has to "pinch himself" after being included in Warren Gatland's 35-man squad for the second Welsh training camp in Poland.
Williams is currently enjoying the harsh cryotherapy sessions in Spala and despite only having 20 games for the Scarlets under his belt, the 21-year-old centre made his debut for the national side against the Barbarians on June 4. Williams, who is one of five centres in the squad, admits that on occasions he does get star-struck by the wealth of international talent taking part in the same camp as him.
"I do have to pinch myself at times and it still hasn't properly sunk in," said Williams. "When I phone home my parents are very interested in the cryotherapy and the training, but the conversation quickly switches to who I'm rooming with and what everyone is like. I roomed with Jamie Roberts on the first camp and I'm sharing with Mike Phillips this week.
"You couldn't ask for two bigger stars than those two, but they've both been great. Both Jamie and Mike have really looked after me and they've been great to be around, they are true professionals and I'm just learning new things and picking up stuff all the time.
"It wasn't long ago that I was watching Wales win a Grand Slam from the couch in my living room and now I'm playing alongside some of those same players. It's unreal when you think about it like that."
Wales' use of the cryotherapy chambers has been well publicised by the likes of Sam Warburton, and Williams, who has played for the Wales U20 side, admits he had previously "never experienced anything" like the intensity prior to the boot camp in Poland. Gatland now faces the task of whittling the 35-man squad, along with those omitted who he maintains are still in the picture, down to the final 30. Williams admits he is already living the dream regardless of whether he makes the plane to New Zealand.
"I would obviously love to put that Wales jersey on again," Williams said. "Having experienced it once, that only makes you more hungry to pull it on again. It would be a dream to go to the World Cup, but I'm fulfilling a dream already, just by being in and around the training squad and by having played for my country at the Millennium Stadium. I'm going to frame that playing jersey and get it on the wall as soon as I can.
"But, even if I go back to the Scarlets for their pre-season at the end of this camp, I will have relished this time and learnt so much. The experience so far has been unforgettable."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"Easter must show he is built in the Lancaster blueprint despite having not featured on the England radar until now," writes Tom Hamilton