Cardiff confirm Wales and Lions star Liam Williams set to join from Scarlets

Wales and Scarlets full-back Liam Williams is the latest star talent who will make the move to Cardiff at the end of this season after the capital club confirmed his capture on Thursday.

The two-time British and Irish Lions tourist rejoined Scarlets in 2020 following a three-year spell with Premiership giants Saracens, but his second stint in Llanelli is already nearing its end.

Williams, 30, has scored 17 tries in 74 appearances for Wales and appeared in two of the Lions' three Tests during their series defeat to South Africa last summer.

However, international commitments and injuries have restricted the utility back to just a single appearance for his current club this season, which is sure to have played a factor in his departure.

Rumours sprouted since November that Williams could be bound for Cardiff's Arms Park, with incumbent full-back Hallam Amos due to retire at 27 and pursue a career in medicine.

Speaking about the upcoming move, Williams said: “I’m really excited to link up with Cardiff in the summer but remain very grateful to the Scarlets, who have given me so many opportunities in the game, and I’m fully committed to them for the rest of the season.

“I have lots of fond memories there but, at this stage of my career, I feel I need a change of scenery and environment to ensure I can stay at the top of my game.

“Cardiff have really impressed me recently and it feels like they are building something special. I have a lot of good friends there from the Wales squad and they cannot talk highly enough of the environment and Dai Young has convinced me that Cardiff is the best place for me to further my career.

“They have an enormous amount of talent in the squad, complimented by some really exciting young players, and the competition for places will be fierce but I am looking forward to playing my part and I am excited to see what we can achieve.”

Cardiff are hoping to once again become a force both domestically and on the European front, with Wasps star Tom Young—son of Cardiff director of rugby, Dai—already en route later this year.

Wales and Lions star Taulupe Faletauis also poised to join from Bath at the end of the 2021/22 season.

Williams scored 16 tries in his 19 Premiership starts for Saracens, as well as having crossed the line 25 times in 75 league outings for Scarlets.

Do you think Cardiff can challenge for major honours next season? Let us know in the comments section.

“We are all really excited to have signed Liam and look forward to welcoming him to Cardiff next season," said director of rugby Young in a statement.

“We knew we had an opening at full-back and Liam’s talent and consistency is abundant for all to see. He has been one of the best full-backs in the world for a number of years and brings real quality on both sides of the ball with his attacking ability, kicking game, positioning and bravery.

“He adds further strength and experience to our squad and will not only strengthen us on the pitch but will be a key role model and leader for some of the young talent coming through in the back three.

“It is important that we have strength and depth across the board and we will continue to add quality to our squad when available.”

Despite Williams' top-level talents, the signing shouldn't present a major burden to Cardiff's finances considering he's one of Wales coach Wayne Pivac's 'elite 38' players.

That means the Welsh Rugby Union's (WRU) dual-contract agreement means they will effectively cover around 80 per cent of Williams' wages.

While many Scarlets supporters may be disappointed to see a fan favourite depart, that expense can now be directed elsewhere, with Leigh Halfpenny, Tom Rogers and Johnny McNicholl able to cover full-back.

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