Leicester's Owen Williams sends warning to fellow title challengers

Gary Fitzgerald
The Telegraph
Owen Williams - Rex Features
Owen Williams - Rex Features

Owen Williams has warned Leicester’s fellow title challengers that the Tigers are ready for anyone.

The Welsh centre, who is joining Gloucester this summer, is desperate to sign off from Welford Road with a second piece of silverware, having already lifted the Anglo Welsh Cup this season.

He believes that Leicester, who are four points ahead of Bath in the race for the final play-off place, are in good shape to be crowned English champions for the 11th time.

Leicester finish the regular season with a visit to Worcester on Saturday, while Bath go to Sale. Williams said: “We are not afraid to go anywhere in the play-offs because we have a very good group of boys here and can turn any team over on our day. Those occasions are about what happens on the day and who performs best.

“We have had our ups and down this season but we’ve shown our resilience and managed to stay near the top. But this win over Sale shows we are playing well, and now it’s about getting some momentum going and hopefully heading into the semi-finals with our tails up.

<span>Owen Williams of Leicester celebrates with Freddie Burns</span> <span>Credit: Getty Images </span>
Owen Williams of Leicester celebrates with Freddie Burns Credit: Getty Images

“There are high expectations at this club and we have to match them. At the start of each season the target is to make the semis at least. Next it is to try and win the trophy.”

Williams is also focusing on his “next challenge” at Kingsholm after four years with the Tigers.

He rounded off his final appearance at Welford Road with Tigers’ fifth try in the bonus-point win and admitted: “It was nice to get a try in my last home game but naturally it is going to be sad to leave.

“I have lots of great memories from my spell here but it’s time to move on. I was very young when I came to this club and it’s fair to say I am a much better player now.

“Playing with seasoned internationals and British and Irish Lions each week has been fantastic, and has certainly helped develop my own game.

<span>Leicester go up for a line-out against Northamton</span> <span>Credit: Rex Features </span>
Leicester go up for a line-out against Northamton Credit: Rex Features

“Gloucester will be a new challenge in a new environment for me but first I want to finish at Leicester on a high. We’ve already won a trophy this season and I want to win another one. That would make the summer sweet.”

While Tigers dream of a further title, Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond said he was determined to finish a frustrating campaign with a home win over Bath.

Sharks are in a lowly 10th place in the table with just six wins from 21 games and Diamond said: “We’ve played a lot of good rugby this season and have not got the results we deserved. We should be higher in the table but the performance against Leicester was a reflection of our season. We do a lot of very good things but then let things slip away.

“The goal now is to finish with a good win at the AJ Bell Stadium and we will field our strongest side.”

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