Williams eyeing half century
February 25, 2010
Shane Williams sealed victory for Wales against Scotland © PA Photos
Shane Williams has called for Wales to "rip into" France at the Millennium Stadium on Friday night.
The diminutive Ospreys wing is eyeing two personal landmarks in the game, with a try taking him to 50 for Wales and also breaking Gareth Edwards' record of 18 Five/Six Nations tries, but is expecting a tough test against an on-song French side.
Williams sealed a thrilling victory over Scotland two weeks ago with a last-gasp try, as well as playing a part in others for fullback Lee Byrne and wing Leigh Halfpenny, and is pleased with his contribution to the team.
"It would be a massive honour to beat that because Gareth Edwards is a true legend in Welsh and world rugby," he said. "To reach 50 tries would also be fantastic, but it is more important to try to get involved as much as possible and work hard - that's what gets you the tries.
"I had the ball 33 times against Scotland, so it is heading in the right direction. Hopefully, against France, it will get up to higher levels again. That is the kind of figure you want to hit. You don't want to stay out on the wing and get only five or six touches.
"Before the Scotland game I trained very hard and I felt I was getting back to my best. "I was hungry to get involved in the game, which hopefully will be the case on Friday because that is where I want to be. It's a massive game for us and we've got to win it.
"We've got to expect a very good French side. They are playing with a lot of confidence, and their win against Ireland won't help our cause. We are going to have to rip into them."
Flanker Martyn Williams admitted that he would have to up his game against the in-form French back-row. Williams, who will join the elite group of players to have played 50 Championship matches and equal Colin Charvis as Wales' most-capped forward on Friday, was part of a back-row taken to task by coach Warren Gatland in the wake of the Scotland game.
"Warren spoke to us and said he didn't believe it went well for us against Scotland as a unit," he said. "We need to up the ante on Friday night. We've taken it on board, and we need to try and answer the criticism."
"Like the Treaty of Versailles, despite all the promises, the new Participation Agreement is certainly not the final solution." John Taylor writes
"We know where we are going and we know where we want to get but how long that will take is anybody's guess." David Humphreys on his plans for Gloucester
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch
Tom Hamilton reports back from the launch of the Guinness PRO12 where there is a renewed sense of optimism with all of the off-field changes to the league