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Williams Set For 150

8th February 2018 By The Editor

Duncan Williams fires out the pass.

Duncan Williams in action against Ospreys earlier this season.

Duncan Williams is in line to make his 150th appearance for Munster on Saturday night when Zebre visit Thomond Park in the Guinness PRO14.

Duncan Williams is in line to make his 150th appearance for Munster on Saturday night when Zebre visit Thomond Park in the Guinness PRO14.

He will become the fifth player of the current squad to do so after Billy Holland, Ian Keatley, Tommy O’Donnell and Stephen Archer.

Since making his 100th appearance for Munster in the PRO12 victory against Ulster in Belfast in January 2016, Williams has raced onto 150 caps in the space of just over two years.

One of Munster’s most consistent performers last season, the scrum-half made no less than 29 appearances and his rich vein of form was rewarded with a contract extension that will see him remain at the province until at least June 2019.

A product of the Greencore Munster Rugby Academy, the Cork Con clubman was a star at CBC in his school days and picked up a Munster Schools Senior Cup medal alongside Holland in 2003.

He was selected for the Ireland Schools and U21 sides before making his first start for Munster on a truly memorable occasion, helping the province to a famous win over Australia in 2010.

The scrum-half position has always been an area of strength for Munster and Williams has had to fight international scrum-halfs for his place in the team since making his debut.

Peter Stringer, Tomás O’Leary and Conor Murray have all been first choice for province and country with Williams providing an ever dependable presence in the squad.

On winning his 150th cap this weekend, Williams said: “I didn’t realise it until this week – I knew it was in and around 150, but it will be good to get it. Not many people have, so it’s a good accomplishment.”

Interestingly, the landmark game happens to come against a Zebre side coached by Michael Bradley, a former Munster scrum-half himself.

“I remember watching him at school,” said Williams of Bradley. “I think it was fifth year and we were going to the Irish schoolboys. The scrum-halves were from Cork, myself and Dave O’Leary, and we were both Con men. He came down and did a few sessions with us.

“I think he has done a good job with Zebre. They have come on in leaps and bounds and are a very attack-minded team now and play very entertaining rugby. They have got more points already than they had at the end of the previous seasons. It’s obviously a work in progress, and I think Michael is doing a good job and there’s no better man for it.”

Next game

Guinness PRO14: Munster v Zebre, Thomond Park, Sat. 10 Feb, 7.35pm; Tickets available online, from the Munster Rugby Ticket Offices at Thomond Park and Irish Independent Park, or by calling 061 421103. Tickets from just €7 with Family packs (two adults and two children) available for just €40.

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