SBW reflects on his French connection

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    09 Nov 2017     Getty Images

Williams told Midi Olympique the French team would lift in front of their home fans and would be 'physical, aggressive and passionate'.

He was disappointed French midfielder Wesley Fofana had been ruled out of the game because he was one of the most dangerous centres he had faced in the game. Vakatawa was another impressive player, a big star in Sevens, but it was a blow for France that he was also unavailable.

Williams said his exposure to the Top 14 [France's domestic competition] had been an important part in his transition from league to rugby.

"The Top 14 made me grow because it is the toughest championship I have ever played. When you take the ball, you also get two opponents who want your skin."

Williams said one of the most memorable games he played for Toulon was against Brive in Toulon.

"We were down 3-21, or something like that. Then Toulon started to play well and we scored three tries and won the match on the final hooter," he said.

The reaction to that win had been incredible.

Asked about his reputation as 'the father of the off-load' he said the ability to off-load was something that came naturally to him.

"When I was 16, my coach was still wondering what I was trying to do with my arms outstretched. He always said to me: 'Sonny, you're almost two metres and 1000 kilogrammes! Go straight! The door will open on its own!' Today the off-load has become commonplace," he said.

Williams said he was unsure how long he would continue to play.

"It's not uncommon for 35-year-old guys to still be professional. I take care of my body and I feel even stronger than when I was 25. I do yoga and stretching," he said.