Wales and Ospreys’ winger and former IRB World Player of the Year, Shane Williams, has exclusively revealed that he plans to retire from international rugby after the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
The admission comes in S4C’s new series Shane Williams: Rygbi a Mwy, to be broadcast in full on Friday 10 September, 21:00. Shane has speculated about his international future in the past but hadn’t yet confirmed his plans – until now.
Rygbi a Mwy offers viewers an opportunity to learn more about some of our favourite present and past rugby stars, including Stephen Jones, Gareth Edwards, Clive Rowlands, Gwyn Jones, Gareth Davies and Ieuan Evans.
During the candid interview, Shane admits that he plans to give his all to the current season in the hope of securing a place on the flight to New Zealand.
With a lot of talented wingers emerging through the ranks in Wales at the moment, Shane, who is currently Wales’ top try-scorer, feels like it’s the right time to step aside.
“I want to decide myself when I finish playing and not have that decision taken away from me by anyone else. It depends how far Wales go in next year’s World Cup finals and whether I’m picked, but my last game in a Welsh shirt will be during the World Cup.”
Shane omitted himself from the Welsh team’s summer tour in a bid to recuperate from an ongoing injury as he aimed to be fresh for this current season. He says this has made him more eager than ever to perform to the best of his ability during the season.
He burst on to the scene for Neath RFC in 1998 and found himself quickly part of Graham Henry’s international side in 2000. Shane also played integral roles in the Grand Slam winning sides in 2005 and 2008 and has been included in the 2005 and 2009 British and Irish Lions squads.
In the revealing series, presenter Rhodri Ogwen Williams visits the areas where his guests were brought up and discovers how proud these communities are of their home grown players. He also accompanies the players as they show viewers some of their lesser-known talents.
Viewers will also see a different side to the winger. Shane will fulfil a boyhood dream at the Pembrey Race Track when he goes for a high-speed thrill in his Jaguar sports car. And who knew that the Welsh wizard was a fan of sketching when he’s not side-stepping the opposition on the field?
Gareth Edwards: Rygbi a Mwy
Friday 17 September 21:00, S4C