Saracens' Williams rejoins Scarlets

London (AFP) –


Wales fullback Liam Williams is to rejoin the Scarlets from Saracens, the two clubs confirmed Thursday.

The British and Irish Lions international's long forecast return will see him return to the Welsh regional side for the 2020/21 season.

Williams, who helped Saracens win the English Premiership and European Champions Cup last season, is the first leading player to announce his departure from the star-studded London side since they were hit with a 35-point penalty and £5 million ($6.5 million) fine for breaching Premiership salary cap regulations.

The 28-year-old is in his third season with Saracens, while this year he was a member of the Wales side that won the Six Nations with a Grand Slam before representing his country at the World Cup in Japan.

"I've thoroughly enjoyed my time at Saracens over the past three seasons," said Williams, capped 62 times by Wales.

"The environment has undoubtedly developed me as a player and a person.

"I am grateful for the support I've had from the players, management and supporters during this time.

"The opportunity to return home to the Scarlets was too good to turn down, and I am incredibly excited about the future."

Saracens rugby director Mark McCall added: "We've really enjoyed having Liam as part of our group for the past three seasons.

"We appreciate his contribution to the club and we wish him and Sophie (Williams' partner) well on their return home to Wales."

Williams scored 29 tries for the Scarlets during a six-season stint before joining Saracens in 2017, the same year he impressed for the Lions during their drawn Test series in New Zealand.

Scarlets general rugby manager Jon Daniels welcomed Williams' return by saying: "We are delighted that Liam is heading home to the Scarlets.

"He is one of the leading players in world rugby, and to be able to sign a player of his calibre at the peak of his powers highlights our determination to build a squad that will challenge for silverware.

"Having Liam playing alongside the likes of Leigh Halfpenny, Johnny McNicholl, Steff Evans and our exciting young back-three talent is a mouthwatering prospect.

"He is an attacking runner that can light up games, while his ability in the air and defensive qualities are second to none. There is no doubt we are signing a world-class player."