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Bristol's style can prepare us for South African challenge - Williams

First Team News | 11th November 2022

Lloyd Williams believes Bristol Bears’ style of play will help Cardiff prepare for what’s to come when they visit South Africa later this month.

The Welsh international links up with Jarrod Evans for Friday’s trip to Ashton Gate, as Cardiff look to bridge the four-week gap between BKT United Rugby Championship action. 

And knowing the challenge ahead in the Rainbow Nation, Williams believes the preparations are crucial in order to hit the ground running in Durban.

“We’ve had a good week of training and I’m sure come Friday everyone will be excited,” explained the experienced scrum half.

“We’re trying to work on our game and kick on in readiness for the South African matches. There’s definitely some things we need to improve on and that’s what these couple of weeks have given us. We want to put that work into fruition against Bristol and moving forward onto that South African trip.

“We know we’ll need to be at our best to compete out there, and we need to be getting out there and hitting the ground running. We won’t get a great deal of time out there to prepare for the first match but it’s just trying to improve on what we’re already doing.

“We saw some slight improvements in the last block and we’re looking to really kick on. If we can add to our game a bit then we can cause some damage over in South Africa.

“Bristol are renowned for playing attacking rugby from their own line, but within a structure, and they’re always filling the field with attacking threats.

“That’s something that South African teams also possess and it’ll be very good practice for us.”

Williams is also relishing the opportunity for an Anglo-Welsh clash and believes the return fixture at Cardiff Arms Park in February gives the contest an extra edge.

“It’s great because it gives us that opportunity for fans to travel not too far to come and support us,” said Williams.

“Teams in England always come with a good crowd, which adds to the occasion. I think I speak for all the boys when I say that playing in these games are great fun and ones that we really look forward to.

“The second leg will be an interesting one, given who takes the bragging rights after this match.

“But I think both sides will be looking to play some good rugby and as always the performance is the most important thing for us. 

“Hopefully alongside that comes the result, but if not there will be a it extra on the line come the return fixture.”

Closing in on his 250th appearance for the club, Williams will be the most experienced player in the blue and black jersey at Ashton Gate, lining up alongside academy youngsters such as Cameron Winnett and Ben Burnell.

However, the scrum half sees the clash as a golden opportunity for anyone to lay down a marker: “It’s a great opportunity for whoever takes the field - whether it’s your first match or you’ve been here for quite some time like myself.

“It’s a great opportunity to get on the field and to showcase what you can do. 

“It’s important that we make the most of it as a team and as individuals.”