OPINION COLUMN: George Williams could be England’s key to World Cup success

Wigan Warriors star George Williams could be England’s secret weapon at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.

The half-back, who only turned 23 on Halloween, has been nothing short of sensational for Wigan in the Betfred Super League this year and has proved to be one of the best players in the country.

Williams came through the famous Warriors Academy and signed a professional deal with the club in 2012. He made his debut in a Challenge Cup derby against Leigh Centurions in 2013 and came off the bench to score.

He was used sporadically by Shaun Wane at hooker and half-back until the 2015 season, when Williams was handed the number six jersey at the Wigan club following the exit of Blake Green.

The former Ince Rose Bridge junior has made big strides in the game in the last two or three years and has gone on to become one of the most entertaining players in Super League due to his energetic footwork and off-the-cuff style of play.

Williams was, arguably, the most unfortunate player to not get a place in the 2017 Betfred Super League Dream Team after boasting such impressive stats last season.

He caused defences all kinds of problems as he scored 11 tries in 29 games while also kicking 43 goals so he could also come in handy if at any point the Three Lions needed a kicker in the tournament.

The Wigan Academy product loves to take on defences and that is one of the reasons why he has become a fan favourite at the Warriors, having made 15 clean breaks, 59 offloads and busting 79 tackles last season.

Williams was the assist king in the 2017 campaign as well with 29 to his name, more than any other player in the Betfred Super League.

He also has a lot of other traits as well like his work ethic in defence. Half-backs in general are considered to just be the playmakers but Williams is a strong defender and is the best half-back in the England squad in terms of defending, with him making 435 tackles in Super League last term.

Despite only being 23-years-old, Williams has quite a lot of experience at the highest level and has already played over 100 games for the Cherry and Whites as well as already having five England caps.

He became a marquee player at Wigan earlier on in 2017 as he penned a new deal until the end of the 2021 season and it’s safe to say that he thoroughly deserved the extended contract.

Not many players on the other side of the globe will know too much about Williams this autumn but he certainly has the potential to light up this World Cup tournament.

Williams is such an exciting player to watch and can create something from nothing and that’s what England need at this tournament.

He will play his first game in England’s Test against Lebanon on Saturday so it is going interesting to see how he gets on but I won’t be surprised if he picks up the man of the match award this weekend.

Do you agree or disagree with this column? Let us know in the comments below.

1 Comment

  1. Our kicking game is the problem.Our pivotful players do not perform at international level as compared to the Aussies. Their kick and chase game is far better than ours thanks to Smith,Cronk,Slater etc.

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