At only 26, Rhys Williams, (or Dragon, as he’s known to his teammates) has played both codes of rugby in three different countries, and represented his nation in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, amongst many other achievements.
Hailing from Mynydd Isa, the Welsh national has also had past spells playing in Super League, for both Warrington and Castleford. He is no stranger to scoring tries either – previously holding the Welsh Rugby League’s top spot, and currently leading try scorer for London; 13 tries in 13 games, including a Man of the Match performance.
When asked his thoughts on the title, his modest response is “I’m happy with my form for the start of the year. As long as I’m playing to the standards I set for myself and helping the team, I’m happy.”
The side from the capital have enjoyed tremendous success in the early parts of the 2016 Kingstone Press Championship season – holding top spot in the league twice, securing two away wins (for the first time) in Cumbria, and, recently, thrashing Sheffield 24-56.
There’s a common theme emerging when the players are asked what this is down to: “We are a pretty tight group, and I think it’s showing in the results, we’ve learned to grind out wins this year, which is putting us in good stead.
“I think we’re just a lot more settled this year, we’ve had near the same team out most weeks and just a lot less disruption which makes it easier for us as players.”
New home of Ealing Trailfinders has also been a contributing factor – all three teams play and train under the one roof, and the ground is fast becoming a home fortress. “It took a little bit of getting used to (training and playing on a 3G pitch), as it does have a different bounce of the ball and is generally a quicker game, but we have thrived on it.
“Not to lose at home in the league is great to say.”
Williams, as the nickname Dragon hints at, is a very proud Welsh national, who does not take representing his country lightly. “I was born and raised in Wales, so it’s a big thing for my family and I when I play for Wales. It was great to have some success last season with them.”
Does he think a top four finish is an attainable goal? “Most certainly. We have had a very good start to the season which will help us in the long run, but we have also learned a lot from last year’s Championship.
“We are working hard every week to put ourselves in the best position to stay in the top four come Super 8s.”