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Dublin: 7°C Wednesday 28 October 2020
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"Shane! Come back!": Gunslinging winger Williams not ready to retire yet

The Welsh wizard will line-out for the Ospreys at Liberty Stadium tonight but wants to prolong that long walk into the sunset.

Shane Williams salutes the crowd at Millennium Stadium before his final appearance for Wales
Shane Williams salutes the crowd at Millennium Stadium before his final appearance for Wales
Image: David Davies/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A CROWD OF over 15,000 are expected to file into the Liberty Stadium in Swansea tonight for what could be the final home match of Ospreys winger Shane Williams’ career.

The 35-year-old will play his final, scheduled home match for the Welsh club against the Newport Gwent Dragons and former international teammates such as Toby Faletau and Dan Lydiate.

Ospreys, however, are currently in second place in the RaboDirect PRO 12 and would secure a home semi-final in the playoffs by closing out their fixtures with two wins.

Ospreys forwards coach Jonathan Humphreys believes the bumper crowd is an indication of the esteem Williams is held in by the local community. He commented:

It’ll definitely give the boys a big lift to run out in front of so many fans. With the biggest crowd of the season present it’ll be doubly important that we show the right attitude and desire so that we don’t disappoint them.

Sideline view

Williams scored 58 tries for Wales in a glittering international career that included two Grand Slam wins, the World Player of the Year award in 2008 and Lions tours in 2005 and 2009.

The highlight of his club career came in 2010 when Ospreys won the PRO 12 (then known as the Magners League) after a stirring win over Leinster at the RDS. The win gave him a third league winners’ medal.

He is expected to enter the media world from this summer onwards and has already featured as a pundit for the BBC as part of their coverage of this year’s Six Nations.

The winger has scored some fantastic tries for club, country and the Lions but his 2008 score against Australia at the Millennium Stadium must rank up with the best.

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Welsh fans of the Test side had their chance to say goodbye to Williams when he played, and scored, against Australia in November of last year.

The Ospreys faithful will get their opportunity this evening at Liberty Stadium and don’t be surprised if there are hollers of “Shane, don’t go!”, just like the western movie about a similar ageing gunslinger.

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