Williams ready to focus on Ospreys

Ospreys youngster, Tom Williams, is targeting a final flourish with Wales Sevens - starting with London Sevens this Saturday – before concentrating on the full fifteen a side game next season.

In 2018/19, his full-time focus will be on Ospreys as he looks to build on his two Regional appearances earlier this season but the 21-year-old can already look back on a sevens career full of good memories - not least this year's Commonwealth Games, where Wales produced one of their finest (but ultimately heartbreaking) performances against Fiji.

"The Commonwealths were awesome; one of best rugby experiences I've ever had," says Williams, who is originally from Montgomery, Powys. "The athletes' village was just amazing. We were unfortunate to lose to Fiji, but it was good to have a crack at them."

Williams has packed in a lot of rugby into the short space of time since he left Rydal Penrhos School in Colwyn Bay just over three years ago. The school's rugby academy had links with nearby RGC, whose age grade teams Williams represented until he was spotted by Ospreys at 18 years old. He had to wait until last November for his debut, when he was selected to start at centre against Wasps at the Liberty Stadium in the Anglo-Welsh Cup, retaining his place for the game against Cardiff Blues the following weekend where, unfortunately, he suffered a compound fracture of the forearm that ruled him out of action until April.

Being a borderer, he ended up playing alongside future Wales Sevens teammate Morgan Williams in North Wales regional fixtures from the age of 12. That familiarity has only helped to increase the familial feeling within the sevens squad, one whose motto is 'Teulu'.

On reflection, his actual family forms part of his favourite rugby memory. "I've competed in tournaments across the world, but the one I enjoyed most was London Sevens last year, when my family and friends were there. Hopefully quite a few will be coming down this weekend again. When you're playing sevens they don't often get the chance to watch you play, so that's a special thing."

It was during his second year at Ospreys that the sevens circuit came calling.

"It's good for boys like me who might be on the fringes of their regional side, not getting much game time," he explains. "Sevens give you the chance to play at a high level, in front of big crowds, and it really tests your fitness. It's definitely improved me as a player."

Operating within a squad of fewer players also has added benefits for a youngster like Williams. "Because there's a smaller group with sevens, you get to have valuable one-on-one time with Gareth Williams and Richie Pugh, whereas it's a bit more difficult to do that in 15s."

If all goes to plan, Williams has two final legs of the World Series to play, in London and Paris, before the Rugby World Cup Sevens kicks off in San Francisco (July 20-22). He'll then head straight into pre-season with Ospreys. 

"The World Cup is a big one at the end of the year," Williams says. "We haven't made a cup final or the quarters this year, so we want to have a really good tournament in London. I think we can do well in this group. That would be a really good boost for this team."


London Sevens - Pool B: Wales, Australia, Ireland, Spain.