"Goodbye Message" - Liam Williams Confirms Wales Departure for Move to Japan - Ruck

“Goodbye Message” – Liam Williams Confirms Wales Departure for Move to Japan

Liam Williams has officially confirmed his departure from Cardiff, after announcing his upcoming move to Japan. The Welsh fullback has agreed a deal with Kubota Spears, and will see Williams leave the Welsh capital a year before his contract expires with the club.

Cardiff had little choice but to let Williams go, as the 32-year-old is one of the club’s highest earners, and the Blues face a £2million wage cut ahead of the 2023/24 United Rugby Championship season. Williams shared a series of social media posts, presenting his excitement to ahead of his move to Japan.

“I’m delighted to announce that I have signed with Kubota Spears for next season. Kon’nichiwa Orange Army!”

“I have fond memories of playing in Japan during the 2019 World Cup and will never forget how welcoming everyone was. I am looking forward to experiencing a new way of life with my wife Sophie and we are excited about the opportunity.

“I have made some incredible memories in Welsh rugby over the years and must thank the WRU and Cardiff Rugby for their understanding in what has been a challenging few months. I will be doing everything possible to be selected for the World Cup campaign with Wales, and am excited about the opportunity to be involved. Diolch, Liam.”

Williams has been selected in Warren Gatland’s wider training squad, as Wales complete their Summer preparations ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Wales have back-to-back warm-up matches against England, and also take on South Africa ahead of the trip to France.

Williams leaves Welsh regional rugby after a playing for a decade in his homeland. Williams began his career with a seven year stint at the Scarlets, before moving to Saracens for two seasons. The fullback returned to Wales in 2019, and re-signed with the Scarlets before his latest move to Cardiff ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.

A series of injuries limited Williams Cardiff involvement to just four caps, and he now becomes the ninth Wales international to leave the country ahead of next season.

Fellow departing players include Joe Hawkins (Exeter Chiefs), Cory Hill (Japan), Rhys Webb (Biarritz), Tom Francis (Provence), Ross Moriarty (Brive), Will Rowlands (Racing 92) Dillon Lewis (Harlequins) and Scott Baldwin (Retired – Newcastle Falcons Defence Coach).