Ali Williams comes out of retirement and joins Top 14 champions Racing 92
Last Updated: 29/06/16 4:44pm
Former New Zealand lock Ali Williams has announced he will come out of retirement and play for newly-crowned Top 14 champions Racing 92 next season.
The 35-year-old has been heavily involved at Racing after acting as media adviser for his former All Blacks team-mate Dan Carter, but will now join Carter as well as fellow Kiwis Chris Masoe and Joe Rokocoko on the field.
"I am really excited to be given another opportunity to play with some great guys and at a club that has a long term future, Williams told the Sky Sports Rugby Union podcast.
"I am nervous and a little conscience - you don't want to come back and ruin what was a great 15 years," said Williams who was part of New Zealand's 2011 World Cup winning team.
"It's one of those things that when you chuck the game in you think that's me."
"But when you keep involved and round the game and the body has time to recuperate you think that maybe there are possibilities that you can play again.
"Being active with Racing 92 during the year we talked about it throughout the course of the year and decided that it was a good option for me to come back."
Racing 92 were runners-up to Saracens in the Champions Cup and beat Toulon to lift the Top 14 trophy, however Williams - who won Top 14 and Challenge Cup trophies with Toulon - believes it is too early to say that Racing have taken over Toulon's mantle as Rugby Union's Galacticos.
"I don't think you can take that mantle off Toulon just yet but Racing have the vision to do that," explained Williams.
"Racing have a lot of home grown talent - and they are really trying harness rugby in Paris. The vision is all there but I think you have to give them a bit more time to give them Toulon's tag."