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Williams eyeing Oz start

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: November 26, 2012

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LIAM Williams hopes he has impressed the Wales coaches enough to earn a starting place against Australia — but admits it will be difficult to displace George North.

The Scarlets full-back was one of Wales's best performers in Saturday's 33-10 defeat to New Zealand, despite playing out of position on the left wing in place of his injured regional colleague North.

Williams worked tirelessly and tackled ferociously, with his shuddering first-half hit on Israel Dagg raising the roof at the Millennium Stadium.

But with North in contention to return for the Wallabies clash at the weekend, Williams admits he might struggle to retain his starting berth.

"It's great to be a part of the Wales team," he said. "But if George is fit, it will probably be George.

"It's disappointing we didn't get the result but I was just happy to be on the pitch.

"If I do get the chance (against Australia), I hope I can play well. Hopefully the boys can regroup this week."

The All Blacks' loss was only Williams's second senior cap, after he made his debut against the Barbarians in June.

Although the 21-year-old was frustrated not to be on the winning side on Saturday, it was certainly a better experience than the last occasion he faced a team from New Zealand.

Williams was a part of the Wales Under-20s side which suffered a nightmarish 92-0 defeat to the Baby Blacks at last year's Junior World Championships.

There was no such horror show at the Millennium Stadium and, after a heartening second-half display against New Zealand, Williams is hopeful Wales can claim a first victory of the autumn against Australia.

"In the first half we didn't play to our strengths but in the second half we dug deep," he said.

"We kept the ball more than we did in the first half and I thought the boys played really well.

"I think Australia will be more or less the same. They will play with quick ball and high intensity.

"We definitely could do with a win this autumn. Hopefully it will come on Saturday."

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