George Williams column: England & Canberra half-back on his Raiders exit and heading residence

George Williams

After 18 months with Canberra Raiders within the Australian Nationwide Rugby League, England half-back George Williams has returned residence to be nearer to his household, notably as he and companion Charlotte predict a child later this 12 months. In his BBC Sport column, Williams talks in regards to the elements behind the return to England and what the long run holds for him in rugby league and life on the whole.

After what has been a loopy few weeks, we’re lastly again in England after my launch by Canberra Raiders.

It was fairly huge information in Australia, a couple of tales had been instructed and it ended up being a irritating finish.

It was a disappointing option to end with the Raiders as I did take pleasure in it there, it was good and I hoped to do good issues there.

However every little thing occurs for a cause, I suppose.

My missus is pregnant and we had been scuffling with homesickness, as a consequence of Covid actually, and weren’t in a position to get residence on the finish of the 12 months.

I would requested for a launch on the finish of the 12 months and the Raiders mentioned no. I would requested 3 times earlier than all of it went incorrect. It acquired a bit messy.

The membership has to do what’s finest for the enterprise, I am not delusional about that, and so they should decide. I am simply glad I can put all of it behind me, it is all settled.

Though it ended sourly, I am proud of what I achieved, happy with what I did and the life expertise of taking part in within the NRL.

The constructive is my companion is pregnant and we are able to have our child at residence round household and mates. It is not all dangerous. We additionally introduced our pug over too, we could not go away him as he is a part of the household.

Generally in sport it would not go the best way you’d need it to, it is a life lesson for me and the Raiders most likely too.

What went incorrect with Ricky Stuart

Ricky Stuart
Ricky Stuart was a giant affect, however the exit has soured the connection

One other laborious half was what occurred with Ricky Stuart – the Raiders head coach. For a very long time, I could not communicate extra extremely of him. Every part from after I first acquired there, even as much as the primary conversations we had about homesickness.

When it truly got here to me leaving, every little thing took a flip actually. The talks, and texts, went backwards and forwards. I used to be asking politely to go away on the finish of the season, I wasn’t simply saying: ‘I’ll shoot off’, I had some discussions, I used to be attempting to see what we may put in place.

I am simply unhappy that relationship is fairly bitter, I’ve not spoken to him for the reason that launch. He was good and I am going to always remember that, however when issues went dangerous he turned his again on me.

Turning into the main target of the media

It was fairly mad. Rugby league is a rising recreation over right here and soccer is the primary sport, however should you go over there, notably in Sydney, it is all about rugby league.

All people recognises the gamers, it is large, identical to a Manchester United footballer strolling spherical Manchester.

Any story a couple of participant makes the entrance web page of the papers, it makes the information; you flip the TV on and your face is throughout it and we’re not used to that type of protection in England.

That was a shock to the system. They have to inform their facet of the story I suppose, however I used to be disenchanted how a few of the stuff did attain the media.

I spoke to the membership in-house, and I imagine they leaked it to the media and that was disappointing.

It was a change to be over the TV while you flip it on however that is throughout now. It is handled.

Farewell to the workforce – ‘like a household’

George Williams is congratulated by Jack Wighton
Staff-mates akin to Jack Wighton have turn out to be lifelong mates

The toughest half was saying goodbye to the lads. I have been there 18 months, you construct friendships and the taking part in group is unbelievable.

You spend 5 or 6 days per week with these lads and so they’re the closest factor you may get to a household.

Some spoke publicly in help of me and others despatched me some very nice messages. I look again and smile about these friendships, and I am positive I am going to keep in contact with these blokes for a really very long time.

As for my previous mate Ryan Sutton, he is acquired his Aussie girlfriend so she’ll maintain him in verify.

Have to have household shut

It was a bit more durable for Charlotte. The being pregnant made us realise that much more so.

She had mates there, and those that she is going to communicate with perpetually. However once we thought of it, what we would not have are the perfect mates or household who will pop spherical for an hour or two to assist while you most want it.

That was a large a part of wanting to return residence, Covid had a large impression too. If it had been regular occasions Charlie may have gone residence but it surely’s simply not attainable, so we decided to go residence and I stand by that 100%.

No regrets – ‘You need to chase the dream’

Oliver Gildart
Oliver Gildart – an in depth good friend of George Williams from Wigan days – is heading to Wests Tigers in 2022

I do not remorse going to Australia due to the way it ended and I’d by no means put it in a foul gentle to a mate or one other participant. ‘Gilly’ [Oliver Gildart] is a extremely good good friend of mine and he is off to Wests Tigers subsequent season.

You have to go and chase your goals and he is doing that so good on him.

The one factor he’ll discover totally different, as I’ve mentioned, is the media protection. However he is a little bit of a fairly boy so I am positive he’ll like that – he’ll hate me for saying that.

He’ll see the distinction immediately, particularly going to a Sydney-based workforce, however I am positive he’ll do effectively and I again him 100%.

Seashores, buddies and schnitzels

I am going to miss the lads, not simply on the membership, the individuals who I met within the Canberra group – those that reached out and I made friendships with – some actually good folks.

I am going to additionally miss going to the seashore every so often, even when we went to Sydney for a store. It was way of life to reside.

And hen schnitzels – they’re good. It is easy pub meals. It is principally crumbed hen however I miss having them as a result of they do not promote them over right here. Each time I would get one the lads would say ‘You having a kind of once more?!’. I used to be simply taking advantage of it.

Trying to the long run

I am simply trying ahead now. I am residence. It was so good to see the household on the airport, there have been a couple of tears and it was very nice – it made all of the stress and drama all value it as I knew I would made the best resolution.

The child’s due in September so I can not wait to be a dad, I am positive it will be fairly laborious however I am going to study on the run.

Profession-wise, I’ve nonetheless not signed for anyone but regardless of the studies, however I’m hoping to get again taking part in as quickly as I can and as it is a World Cup 12 months I am trying ahead to that. I’ve acquired to supply some kind and that is a giant purpose of mine.

I am simply trying ahead to the subsequent a part of my life now.

Hear extra from George Williams on the BBC 5 Stay Rugby League podcast, out there on BBC Sounds.

Around the BBC iPlayer bannerAround the BBC iPlayer footer

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments