Royal Navy Rugby Union player Williams chases international dream

Liam (front row second from left) with his RNRU Sharks' team mates at the 2017 Yeovil 7s. Image: Royal Navy Rugby Union© John Walton
Liam playing at the Bury St Edmunds 7s 2017. Image: Royal Navy Rugby Union© John Walton
7 May 2017 Liam in action for the RNRU Sharks. Image: Royal Navy Rugby Union© John Walton
Down but not out - playing for the RNRU U23s 5 Oct 16. Image: Royal Navy Rugby Union© John Walton
Image: Crown Copyright 2018 © PO Harper

Liam started playing rugby when he was just 8 years old. He instantly developed a passion for the sport and as he continued to progress in junior Rugby he was selected on two successive seasons for Gloucestershire’s Development Squad.

After joining the Royal Navy as an Engineering Technician in 2012, Liam quickly got involved in Navy Rugby, playing in the Newquay 7s in 2013. After initially playing as a scrum half in 15s, he was selected for the Royal Navy Under 23s squad, and represented the Royal Navy in the position of winger in Inter Service tournaments in both 2015 and 2016 for that age group. Most recently, Liam has represented the Royal Navy at 7s Rugby pulling on the shirt for the Royal Navy Rugby Union Sharks team, helping them to victory in several tournaments last season.

Liam’s clear rugby talent and his qualification via his Filipino mother have given him the opportunity of a trial with the Philippines national squad.

With the requirement for the costs of flying out to take part needing to be self-funded, Liam has had to raise £1,000 to take part. Through the generosity of family and grants from the HMS Sultan Care and Welfare Fund, the Establishment’s Leading Hands Mess and the RN & RM Sports Lottery he has successfully reached the goal.

Liam will fly out for the trial, hopeful he can claim a place in the team for upcoming games against Singapore. He said: “I’m so thankful for all the support I’ve received as I live and breathe rugby. I’m currently playing for Devonport Services, Plymouth and also captain HMS Sultan's 15s and 7s squad as well as help organise training sessions.”

“Hopefully I’m successful in the trials as it would be a huge honour to represent the Royal Navy and the Philippines in the Asia Rugby Championships. I love the country and have a close relationship with my mother’s family who live out there. The people are wonderful and it is such a beautiful place.”

Article by Matthew Hibberd
Images: Royal Navy Rugby Union © John Walton and Crown Copyright 2018 © PO Harper