Springbok scrumhalf Grant Williams is poised to seize any opportunity to stake his claim in the green and gold of the world champions.
Williams made his Test debut against Wales in Bloemfontein last year, and now, his exceptional performances for the Sharks this season have earned him a place in the prestigious Vodacom United Rugby Championship’s Elite XV for in 2022-23.
His statistics speak volumes: among scrumhalves, he misdirected a mere three passes out of 589, scored an impressive 10 tries, made the most clean breaks (11), beat 23 defenders (the second-most in the competition), and completed 91% of his tackles, and his speed and versatility – he can also play wing – make him a force to be reckoned with.
As the clock ticks closer to the World Cup, the 26-year-old finds himself among a pool of talented scrumhalves vying for a spot in the 33-man Bok squad.
Undeterred by the stiff competition, Williams has his eyes fixed on the prize, and reflecting on what it will take for him to crack the nod, Williams told BokSquad: “You want to be in the international setup, so you channel all your focus into setting yourself goals and not being complacent.
“A couple of years ago, you’d play one good game and think you’re on top of the world, then life hits you the next week and you’re not performing. I’ve worked on delivering every week and not going into that state where I’m satisfied.
“My scanning is something that has helped me a lot. I can spot a mismatch or a gap quickly because I scan early and I scan a lot. My goal is to have an all-round game: the kicking game must be on point because I have weeks where I’m spot on and I have weeks when I’m inaccurate.
“The Springbok coaches have a variety of scrumhalves they can pick. I like to observe so I’m aware of who’s performing. Sometimes it gets a bit scary because everyone’s performing. At the moment, I’m just focusing on myself and being a better Grant than I was last week.”
Williams was one of 15 players who last week attended the first of two Bok preparation camps in Durban in May, as the South Africans launch into the 2023 international season.
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