On the eve of his third stint with the Canberra Raiders, Sam Williams believes he is the best player he has ever been.
Williams played 21 games for Wakefield Trinity last year after leaving the Raiders at the end of the 2016 season.
“There’s no doubt that after 12 months of learning and growing and understanding the game from a different perspective, which the UK gives you, there’s no doubt you’re going to improve,” Williams said. “Hopefully come the weekend I can try and play well and if what I’ve learnt last year helps then that’s the way it’ll be.”
After impressing during the preseason, Williams has been named at halfback for the Raiders’ Round 1 clash against the Titans, with Blake Austin moving to the bench.
“I probably didn’t come back here expecting it to happen so soon,” Williams said. “You obviously want to try in every session and just give yourself the best possible opportunity to play in Round 1.
“The way things have worked out Ricky (Stuart) has given me the opportunity and I guess that hard work you put in was worth it.”
He will be partnered in the halves by Aiden Sezer, whose game he’s familiar with after playing with him at the back end of the 2016 season.
“He’s a good talker on the field and obviously a left footer as well so that’s another option with our kicking game,” Williams said. “I’ve played enough footy with both Blake and Aiden to understand what my role can be when I’m on the field.”
With Austin named in the number 14 jersey, Williams admitted that he isn’t sure how much gametime Stuart will give to the three playmakers.
“I guess this week he sees a rotation that he thinks is going to work and that he thinks will win us the game,” Williams said. “Blake’s probably a bit more dynamic off the bench than what I am.
“If we can start well and give Blake that opportunity to come on and make a mark, and I’m sure he will, it’ll put us in a good position.”