12:01pm Tuesday 26th November 2013
By Iwan Gabe Davies
WALES’ latest cap Rhodri Williams could be set to play against his hero Will Genia on Saturday as the Scarlets scrum-half dream season continues.
The 20-year-old made his Test debut on Friday night when he came off the replacements’ bench in the 70th minute for Lloyd Williams in his country’s 17-7 victory over Tonga.
And with Wales’ showdown with Australia at the Millennium Stadium on the horizon, the promising No 9 could be Mike Phillips’ deputy for the showdown.
Williams has made no secret of his admiration for the player regarded by some as the world’s best inside-half and has admitted in the past at drawing inspiration for his own game from the Queensland Reds star.
Williams, one of Wales Under-20s’ standout players when they finished runners-up at the IRB Junior World Championships this summer, said of Genia: “He’s always so dangerous and even if he’s got slow ball, he can whip it out.
“During the first and second Tests against the British and Irish Lions this summer, he was quite superb and he just reads the game so well. He can see things before the opposition do.”
Williams has been highly impressive in the Scarlets’ Heineken Cup adventures so far this season, scoring tries in both the 33-26 victory away over Harlequins and the 26-26 draw with French aristocrats Racing Métro at home.
His excellent displays were rewarded when he made his Test debut, but he admits there were butterflies in the stomach before he came on.
“I was quite nervous sitting on the bench and I thought I might not get on but it was a great to win my first cap and I didn’t feel too bad once I was on," he said.
“Sometimes I have to pinch myself with the way this season has gone for me so far.
“It was great to get called into the Wales squad but to get my cap against Tonga was a huge bonus.
“But I’ll have to concentrate on winning my place back at the Scarlets because they’ve had a couple of good results since I have been away.”
With Lloyd Williams not hitting top form for a while, the young man from Ammanford could yet meet past master Genia as his country look to halt an eight-match losing streak against the Wallabies, Australia out to avenge their 2-1 Test series defeat to a Lions squad dominated by Wales players.
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