George Williams believes the Canberra Raiders have got what it takes to win 2021 NRL Grand Final
Follow the 2021 NRL season on Sky Sports, kicking off on Thursday on Sky Sports Arena at 9am with the reigning champions Melbourne Storm vs South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Last Updated: 09/03/21 9:17am
Canberra Raiders and England star George Williams believes the Green Machine have the team "to go all the way" in this season's NRL Telstra Premiership.
The men from the Australian capital were just 80 minutes away from back-to-back Grand Finals in 2020 but were defeated by eventual champions the Melbourne Storm.
Speaking on the Golden Point podcast, Williams feels the side are well placed to take home the trophy for the first time in 27 years.
"When you look around the team we've got it's now or never for us, we've got to deliver soon. We lost John (Bateman) last year but we believe we've got the team to go all the way."
The livewire half-back feels his game has evolved after a highly impressive debut NRL season.
"At Wigan, I had some big characters around me and massive leaders, and I probably took a backward step in letting them speak, but I'm not young anymore, I'm 26 and it's about time as a half-back I became more vocal," said Williams.
"As a half I've got that respect now to speak which was a massive goal of mine when I came here. I try and improve day in, day out and I even watch training back now to get better and better."
The former Wigan No 6 admits he's considered what kind of a legacy he wants to leave when he eventually returns home to England.
"There's some legends of the game that have come over and done it in the NRL. We don't know how long I'll be here but I want to be the best English half-back in the last 30 years or maybe to ever come to the NRL. As big as that sounds and as challenging as that is for me - I'm nowhere near that yet - but that's my goal and why I came to Australia. I came here to win an NRL Premiership and that will help with being the best half-back to ever come over."
Another person who joined the NRL from Super League for 2020 was St Helens Grand Final-winning coach Justin Holbrook. Following an impressive first season overseeing the rebuild of the Gold Coast Titans, Holbrook has recruited well and many are tipping the once lowly Titans to force their way into the Play-Offs.
Speaking to the Golden Point podcast Holbrook admitted that he sees that as a positive.
"There is expectation but that's a good thing. Nobody wants to be in sport and not have expectation on themselves; you might as well go and do something else. We finished the season strongly with five wins and then we've picked up some key new recruits with David Fifita and Tino Fa'asuamaleaui as well as a few other key guys.
"There is expectation but the Gold Coast needs it, it's a massive rugby league city that's been hammered for years. There are so many young kids playing rugby league up here and they need a successful team to follow. What we've done now is given them hope."
One person who would certainly help in the quest for success is living legend Cameron Smith, but Holbrook appeared to pour cold water on the prospect of him joining the Titans for 2021 despite having relocated to the area recently.
"I still haven't spoken to him and he hasn't made an announcement on whether he's going to retire or not. If he wanted to play then obviously we would have a chat but we're really happy with our squad and who we've got."
The NRL season gets underway on Thursday on Sky Sports Arena at 9am with the reigning Champions the Melbourne Storm hosting South Sydney Rabbitohs.