Liam Williams: Wales & Saracens star to return against Ospreys

Liam Williams

Wales have been handed a Six Nations boost after Saracens wing Liam Williams was declared fit for their key European Champions Cup game against Ospreys.

Williams has not featured competitively since sustaining an injury around his groin and hernia while playing for Wales against Georgia on November 18.

The 26-year-old could face the Ospreys on 13 January with Warren Gatland naming his squad three days later.

“He’s available for selection,” said Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall.

Williams has trained with the Saracens first team on twice this week, with McCall delivering a confident verdict on his fitness.

“If there are no ill-effects from today’s training session, which was the tougher of the two days, then he’s got a great chance of being involved in the squad,” said McCall.

“We’ve taken our time but he looks pretty good, he just needs to make sure there’s not a reaction.

“It’s always a calculated gamble to bring someone back who hasn’t played for a bit.

“But I think you do have the odd exceptional player who is able to do that and is good enough for you to want to put that player in. Liam is probably in that category.”

Saracens, the defending European champions, trail the Ospreys by two points with two games left and know defeat at the Liberty Stadium would all but end their hopes of progress.

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For Wales, Williams will be a welcome boost for Warren Gatland who has back three fitness doubts over George North and Hallam Amos.

Amos suffered an ankle injury in the Dragons defeat against Cardiff Blues on Boxing Day, while North has been sidelined until at least the end of January with a knee problem.

Williams can play wing or full-back and has won 45 Wales caps. He was one of the star performers of the British and Irish Lions’ drawn series with New Zealand in the 2017 summer.

Wales also have back-row concerns with Sam Warburton (knee) and Dan Lydiate (bicep) ruled out of the Six Nations, while Bath’s Taulupe Faletau will at least miss the first three games.

Gloucester back-rower Ross Moriarty has only played 40 minutes of rugby since the opening game of the Lions tour in June 2017 when he suffered a neck injury.

Gatland names his Six Nations squad on 16 January with Wales starting the tournament by playing Scotland in Cardiff on 3 February.

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