The Raiders will welcome home local junior Sam Williams to the club in 2015, after he signed a two year deal with the club to return to where he began his NRL career.
Williams is currently playing for Catalans Dragons in the English Super League, after a mid-season switch from the St George Illawarra Dragons.
Originally from Cooma in NSW, Williams was a star for the Raiders junior grades before making his NRL debut in 2011, playing 42 matches for the Raiders until he departed at the end of the 2013 season.
Williams said he’s excited about returning to the club where he started his career and said he wants to be a part of what he believed was a team on the rise.
“The Raiders are my home club with some of my best mates and a club I've always wanted to see successful so I'd love to be a part of any success we have in the future,” Williams said. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to work hard to try and earn a place in the team next season.”
The opportunity to work with Coach Ricky Stuart is another reason Williams highlighted for his return, as is playing with a group of players he has developed alongside in the junior grades.
“I have heard plenty of positive things from the boys about Ricky and the coaching staff and the changes that Ricky has implemented. He’s a club legend and one of the best ever halfbacks, so I can certainly look to improve working under him,” Williams said. “I can't wait to be back with the Green Machine, it's a place I've always called home and wearing the green has always been what I feel most comfortable with.
“There’s some great talent at the club who I’ve played with before and some more coming through the ranks and I want to be part of a squad of players who can bring us back to the top.”
Raiders Recruitment and High Performance Manager David Hamilton said the signing of Williams would give the club some strong competition in the halves and said it was fantastic the club could regain the services of a player who was developed in the Raiders system.
“Sam is a gifted playmaker who we believe will be a valuable asset for our squad,” Hamilton said. “He’s a really strong organising halfback who knows how to get a team around the park and we know his competitive nature and willingness to succeed will make him a front runner to be in the NRL team in 2015.
“Sam is a local product who came through the junior system from under 16’s right through to NRL level and it’s great that we can get him back to the club which helped him start his NRL career.”