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"Rugby brings all of us together and is why we've been going so well" - Williams

9th May 2018

Nick Williams believes team cohesion has played a vital role in Cardiff Blues' recent form, as Wales' Capital Region prepare for Friday's Challenge Cup final against Gloucester at Bilbao.

The number eight has been one of his side's star performers over the campaign, and signed a contract extention at the Welsh capital earlier this season.

Williams insists his side are focused on the task ahead and won’t be fazed by the occasion at San Mames Stadium.

“We need to treat this one as any other game, and that’s what we’ve tried to drive through the heads in training this week. Not much will change in the game, just that you get a little silver thing to hold up at the end if you win,” said Williams. 

“Form came into play at the right time of the season, and we’re now looking forward to getting to Bilbao and hopefully get the win. 

“When you have a happy camp and happy players, that can go a long way. The boys come to work with a smiler, which might sound like a cliche, but the boys want to play for each other.

“We have a really good mix here of young guys coming up and the older boys like myself and Melon [Gethin Jenkins] and we seem to be clicking. The boys are happy.”

The 34-year-old former Junior All Black has enjoyed one of the finest seasons in his 14-year career, playing a key role in the back row alongside the likes of Ellis Jenkins, Josh Navidi and Olly Robinson.

Williams admits he still has a lot of love for the game, and is relishing the opportunity to play in Friday’s final.

Williams said: “In this part of my career, I didn’t think I’d be able to go to play in a final. It’s a big blessing, personally, but from where we were when I arrived in Cardiff compared to where we are going to be on Friday night, is a huge step.

"Us getting there is one huge step, and winning will be another big one, another task that I’m very much looking forward to. 

“Rugby is a beautiful sport because it’s there for people of all shapes, sizes and cultures. It brings all of us together and that is probably one reason why we’ve been going so well this season. 

“You give as much as you take. I’ve been doing for a long time now and my wife asks me after some games, why I still do it. 

“I’ve always been honest and said, the day I can’t play with my kids is the day I hang the boots up.

“Cardiff have been awesome to me and have looked after me work. The medical staff have been clever with my training schedule and as long as I deliver on the weekend, they’ll keep looking after me throughout the week.

“I’m 34 now and you don’t get to many finals when you’re that age. You need to savour it, hopefully we’ll have great weather and hopefully we can get the win for ourselves, our family, friends and all the Cardiff Blues supporters.”