Keiran Williams v Connacht

Player Feature: Keiran Williams

Keiran Williams has emerged as the centre of attention and an example of the homegrown talent now being given an opportunity at the Ospreys during this campaign.

Williams, 23, is one of an exciting and emerging group of young players who are being given their chance to shine under new Head coach, Toby Booth, at the Ospreys, this season.

He, along with fellow centre Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler, backrower Morgan Morris, locks Will Griffiths and Rhys Davies, scrum half Rueben Morgan-Williams and fly half Josh Thomas, are all from the region and have been given game-time already this season.

Keiran Williams
“It’s flattering but hopefully I can carve a name for myself in the game. When it first came up, my teammates were calling me Gibbsy!"

Williams’ displays have already caught the attention of the Ospreys faithful and earned himself a two-year contract extension at the Liberty Stadium.

From his defence splitting break against Edinburgh in the Scottish capital, leading to Mat Protheroe’s try, to his willingness to lead the charge in the victory over Cardiff Blues and his dominant display away against Connacht, Williams has emerged as one to watch.

He also is a symbol of the Ospreys future.

Head coach Booth has a reputation of giving young players a chance to play and develop at every club he has been at, and has made no secret of his intention to develop and guide players coming through the Ospreys Academy.

Keiran Williams v Ulster


Williams has grabbed the spotlight with some impressive personal, block busting displays already this season, but he is just the tip of the iceberg of some of the young talent at the region.

The former Wales U20’s international demonstrates an impressive humility despite the plaudits coming his way and is focused on how he can improve his game.

“At the moment, I definitely feel I need to become more of an all round player,” said Williams.

“My skill level is probably not where I need it to be. I work on those things as much as possible in training and get my hands on the ball as much as I can.

“I could probably add a kicking game too, but I also try to focus on the good parts of my game. I just know I need to become more of an all-round player as the season goes on.

“I try not to run into the big boys, but unfortunately sometimes I do. I do try to run between them.

“I just need more exposure and experience at this level and that will help my game.”

Williams’ hard running style and ability to get his side over the gainline have drawn comparison with another Osprey - the Wales and British and Irish Lions legend, Scott Gibbs.

“I am flattered and there is a massive pedigree to his name, Scott Gibbs,” said Williams. 

“You remember that try he scored at Wembley back in 1999.  Some days, I forget my name because people call me Scott Gibbs. It’s great though and hopefully I can achieve something of what he achieved in the game.

“It’s flattering but hopefully I can carve a name for myself in the game. When it first came up, my teammates were calling me Gibbsy!"

Keiran Williams v Benetton

While the comparison to Gibbs is flattering for Williams, it is another Scott who has had a big influence on the young Ospreys centre.

“Scott Williams has been a big influence on me and is a fantastic player, as his pedigree and experience show,” said Williams.

“I always try to watch what he does in training and bring that into my game.  He is a fantastic bloke and fantastic role model and awesome to play alongside.”

Williams’s displays in an Ospreys jersey have inevitably led to talk of international recognition at senior level. But for a player in his second season of professional rugby his own aims are much more realistic.

“Personally, it’s all about staying injury free and playing as many games as I can,” said Williams.

“It’s always a dream to put on the Welsh jersey but I am not thinking about that yet. If it comes, it comes.

“I just want to stay injury free and stay on the pitch and play as many games as possible for the Ospreys, and who knows where that will take us.”