Home Sweet Home
2015 recruit Sam Williams has revealed just how happy he is to return home to the Raiders; the club which he supported as a child and ascended through the grades with as a junior.
"I'm really excited to be back at a place I call home and it's great to be back with players who I have spent a lot of time playing with and who are good mates of mine," Williams enthused.
Williams' sole year away from the Green Machine was an interesting one, comprised of stints in both of the world's hemispheres.
With his path seemingly blocked in the halves at the Raiders, Williams made the extremely difficult decision at the end of 2013 to leave the only club he has ever known for the St George Illawarra Dragons in search of a full-time halfback role in the NRL.
Alas, when St George Illawarra signed Benji Marshall mid-year, Williams left the south coast based Dragons to join the Catalans Dragons in the south of France.
Williams would go onto be a major factor in driving the Catalans through to the semi-finals in the English Super League.
"It was a tough decision to leave but I'm glad to be back. I certainly feel that I have come back to the club as a better player. I had the opportunity to work with some really good players in both the NRL and the English Super League over the last 12 months which has been really good for my development."
During Williams' absence fellow local junior Mitch Cornish emerged as potentially the club's long term number seven with a series of promising displays towards the end of the season.
Williams is under no illusions that he will be guaranteed the number seven jersey in Round 1 next year and is welcoming the fight for the jersey, claiming the challenge for positions is healthy for himself and the club.
"There isn't a guaranteed spot in any rugby league side; you've got to work hard to be a starting player in any club.
"The battle in the halves is a good thing for the club. Mitch had a really good finish to the season last year and that sort of competition will bring out the best in everyone."
Aiding the two supremely talented youngsters in their development as on-field generals of the highest calibre is the club's greatest ever on-field commander - Mr Ricky Stuart.
"Ricky is not only a club great but he's probably the greatest halfback that the Raiders have ever had so it will be a really good thing for me to work under him," said Williams.
"I'm really looking forward to working hard and learning all I can from him. I'm very lucky to be able to learn off someone like Ricky at the club I grew up supporting.
"It was a hard decision to leave, but it was an easy decision to come back and I'm excited about the season ahead.
"I'm happy to be home"
CLICK HERE to join Williams in signing up to the Raiders family in 2015.