Wales' Liam Williams describes Jonny Sexton as "my coach" ahead of Ireland Six Nations clash
Last Updated: 23/02/18 10:52pm
Liam Williams has described Jonny Sexton as “my coach” ahead of Wales’ Six Nations encounter against Ireland on Saturday.
The Wales and Saracens wing is expected to make his first international appearance since November in Dublin after recovering from an abdominal injury that has restricted him to just three games in 14 weeks.
Williams, who impressed for the British and Irish Lions in New Zealand last summer alongside Sexton, is expected to be integral to Warren Gatland's chances of engineering a first defeat for Ireland, in his 100th Test in charge, in this year's Six Nations campaign.
"Johnny is a great bloke," Williams said. "I always call him 'my coach', and I will do so again at the weekend. He is class - there are no ifs or buts about it.
"We know exactly what we are going to be up against at the weekend. It's going to be tough and it's going to be fast."
Williams, who missed Wales' opening weekend victory over Scotland and the narrow defeat to England at Twickenham, sustained his most recent injury during the Autumn internationals against Georgia and opted against undergoing surgery.
"During the Georgia game (in November) I felt a pain in my groin, I came off and had a couple of scans," Williams said.
"Luckily enough, I didn't need to have an operation, although there was an option to have surgery, which looking back it may have been better to have had the operation and just six weeks out rather than come back after eight, play one game (against the Ospreys) and then be out for another four.
"But hindsight is a wonderful thing. I haven't had anything like this before. Rugby players don't tend to get this kind of injury - it is more common among footballers. It is not a contact injury, just to do with the muscle."
Williams is under no illusions about the test he and his other back-three colleagues Leigh Halfpenny and Steff Evans is aware of the aerial onslaught they can expect from Ireland half-back pair Sexton and Conor Murray at the Aviva Stadium.
"We know exactly what is going to be coming. With Murray at nine and Johnny Sexton at 10, they are two world-class players, and I am looking forward to the aerial battle against them," Williams said.
"They are two great blokes, and to be fair, all the Irish boys were great on the Lions tour. I really enjoyed spending some time with them, and I am looking forward to seeing them at the weekend.
"Hopefully, we will have a war in the afternoon and then have a couple of pints in the evening!"