Wales star Rhys Williams makes Championship move following Salford Red Devils departure

Ben Olawumi
Rhys Williams

Rhys Williams in action for Salford Red Devils - Alamy

Championship outfit Swinton Lions have confirmed the signing of Welsh stalwart Rhys Williams on a two-year deal following his exit from Super League neighbours Salford Red Devils.

A try-scorer in Salford’s 2020 Challenge Cup final defeat to Leeds Rhinos under the Wembley arch, Williams’ departure was confirmed last month.

The winger – also able to play at centre –  has already had a lengthy career, first debuting for Wales on the international stage back in 2008, and making his Super League bow in 2010 for Warrington Wolves.

Linking up with Swinton for 2024 will take him into the 17th year of his career, returning to a club for whom he scored nine tries in 16 games for on loan back in 2013.

Wales star Rhys Williams makes short move to Swinton Lions following Salford Red Devils departure

Winning promotion up to the Championship via the League 1 play-off final last year, Swinton this term pulled off a shock win at Halifax Panthers in their final game to secure survival in the second tier.

Incoming head coach Alan Kilshaw has lost five players, including highly-rated Louis Brogan who has joined Super League outfit Leigh Leopards ahead of 2024.

Plenty signings of their own have already been announced by the Lions though, with Williams’ former Salford teammate Dec Patton among them.

With well over 300 career appearances to his name, outside-back Williams has also represented Castleford Tigers and North Wales Crusaders as a loanee, with the most hit-outs on his CV for recently promoted London Broncos.

In the capital outfit’s colours, he featured 157 times and amassed 104 tries, spending four years with them having joined in 2015 from Australian club North Queensland Capras. The 33-year-old is also Wales’ most-capped player ever with 33 official international appearances.

Having now secured his services, boss Kilshaw had high praise for his latest recruit, saying: “Rhys brings with him a number of key components including leadership qualities and experience, which not only includes World Cups and the Challenge Cup, but he’s also featured in the Championship for London, so therefore knows the competition well.

“Rhys is fast and strong, and is very good coming out of defence with yardage. He also knows where the try line is and can finish!

“There’s no doubt that everyone is very excited to have him at the Lions for the next two seasons.”

READ NEXT: Ranked – Every IMG grading as seven Super League clubs achieve Grade A status