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Williams not focusing on personal achievements ahead of huge derby clash

20th December 2018

Nick Williams insists he will treat Friday's derby clash against Dragons as any other game, with the influential number eight preparing to hit 150 appearances in the Guinness PRO14.

The former Munster, Aironi and Ulster star, who recently passed 50 appearances for Cardiff Blues, will feature alongside Olly Robinson and Josh Navidi in the back row as the Newport-based outfit visit the Welsh capital for the first in a trio of festive derbies.

Williams insists he still loves getting out on the field on a weekly basis, but isn’t concentrating too much on personal achievements.

“I had no idea until someone mentioned to me during the week. It’s just another game to me, although it probably shows that I’m a little bit older now,” said the number eight.

“It’s something I’m happy to have achieved but it’s just another game where we need to cross the whitewash, and probably a good one to be coming up against the Dragons boys in a derby, so I’m looking forward to it.

“I wake up every morning and just count my blessings that I’ve been able to do the job that I love for a long time.

“I’m still enjoying it, even though you come into work in the mornings at this time of year when it’s freezing and dark, and the same goes for when you leave just after lunch!

“Look, I’m just looking forward to the game, I’m happy and I guess the 150 is just a bonus.”

Dragons will be visiting the Arms Park looking to end a losing streak of seven games against Wales’ Capital Region.

With both teams seeking a much-needed victory, Williams insists form counts for nothing during derbies games and called for the side’s experienced players to lead by example on Friday night.

Williams said: “It’s the big games where you need your big-time players to step up, and these are the type of games you’ll remember, especially when you hang up your boots.

“Derbies are something I’ve grown to become familiar with, and the Dragons are a team who play a brand of rugby that works for them.

“It probably goes without saying that both teams need a win. I know we’re desperate for the result and it would be good for Santa to give us that win!

“They’ll be coming for us, and we’ll be gunning for them. It will be special with the added bonus of being at home as well.

“As the cliche goes, the form goes out of the window when you play against your fellow regions. We know they’ll be coming down to Cardiff looking to get the win against us.

“They’ve had a bit of a change in their backroom staff, and if it’s anything to go by, our success was built on a similar situation last season.

“We became tighter as a group, and if they use that as a motivation, then the challenge will be a different kettle of fish, that’s for sure.”

Tickets are still available for Friday's huge Guinness PRO14 derby against Dragons! Click HERE to find out more!