Scott Williams v Leinster

Q&A with Scott Williams

In case you missed it in the official matchday programme, here is the Scott Williams Q&A.

Scott Williams
"Having a bulging disc at 29 is probably not the best but its what we do and we accept that we have injuries in the game."
Full Q&A
Since Toby Booth’s arrival as head coach there seems to be a real change and shift in attitude and expectation, with young and experienced players all pushing each other in training at St Helen’s.

“It shows where we are as a squad.  After last season, which was a tough time, we are seeing the rewards of a lot of younger boys having game-time last season.  They have come through really well and that can only be a good thing for the Ospreys and looking at the squad and when we lose players to the national side we still have a very strong team when they are away. The challenge now is to try and get in the team.  I am looking forward to that and it’s only a good thing for the team and myself.”

You are one of the senior players at the Ospreys and most experienced centre in the squad, how tough is the competition for places at the moment with Owen Watkin and Keiran Williams?

“Both are very good players. I have played more with Owen and was supposed to play with Keiran a couple of times but he picked up an injury and then I got injured. I haven’t played alongside him much but he is a strong ball carrier and you know what he can do and I could see it in training last year.

He picked up a bit of groin problem last year which stopped him playing more and that was unfortunate for him because he was playing really well.  Keiran is a physical player and very skilful as well. He is a tough cookie, from Neath way. He is very physical, you can see it in the way he plays and he wants contact and he is very hard to defend against and very hard to attack against too.”

The problems you had regarding your back injury have been well documented and the reason why you took that decision was to play at the Rugby World Cup in Japan, any regrets?

“It was tough, but you do whatever you can to play for your country.  It felt like the right thing to do and I would do the same all over again. It feels good now and will probably never be 100 percent, but I am pain-free and I feel I could do things like I could before.  Most rugby players are going to be a bit battered when they retire. Having a bulging disc at 29 is probably not the best but its what we do and what we accept that you have injuries in the game.

We play a very intense, high-contact game but it’s what we love to do. It is what it is.  I don’t regret anything I have done or any decisions I have made. “

How bad was the injury and how did it happen? What couldn’t you do and how are you now?

"It happened overnight.  I picked up the injury in a game. I thought I just had a bad back so I played 70 minutes the next week with a bulging disk.  It was only a couple of months after that I was sitting on the sofa one day, got up and just lost feeling in my foot, which was scary.  I had a bulging disk in my back and pretty bad sciatica. I lost all feeling in my leg and movement in my foot. 

It was a pretty scary time and it took time for it to come back. I lost all the strength in my leg. It didn’t really cross my mind that I’d have to retire.  It was scary though. It’s just day-to-day things you can’t do. I couldn’t sit down for five minutes. I couldn’t stand up for five minutes. It’s hard to deal with every day. Not being able to bend over or pick my boy up, it was dark times. But I’m through them now."