x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Shane Williams thrills in his final appearance for Wales

Shane Williams electrified the crowd at Millennium Stadium in his final match for Wales, but it was too little, too late for his side against Australia.

Shane Williams, right, electrified the crowd in his final match for Wales, but it was too little, too late against Australia.
Shane Williams, right, electrified the crowd in his final match for Wales, but it was too little, too late against Australia.

Wales winger Shane Williams scored with his final touch in international rugby, but he bowed out on a losing note after Australia overcame a sluggish start to win 24-18 in a one-off Test at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.

"It's been a tough week," said Williams, as the 34 year old was unable to stem the flood of tears during a pitchside interview, discussing the end of his 11-year international career.

"It's been a privilege to have had the chance to play for Wales. I've had the time of my life. I'm going to miss it, it's been a great journey. I've enjoyed every minute of it ... the ups and downs."

The Wallabies produced a strong second-half showing to again defeat Warren Gatland's side, six weeks after their 21-18 victory in their Rugby World Cup third-place play-off in October.

Williams, his country's all-time record try scorer, took his tally to 58 with the last-gasp touchdown on his 87th and final appearance, but it was an otherwise disjointed display from the hosts.

Wales led 6-3 at the break but the game quickly changed after full-back Leigh Halfpenny was sin-binned nine minutes after the restart.

Australia took the game by the scruff of the neck as Will Genia, Lachie Turner and Berrick Barnes crossed for quick scores to subdue a home crowd hoping to give Williams a winning send off.

Rhys Priestland crossed for the first Welsh try, but the Wallabies, who thrashed the Barbarians 60-11 at Twickenham last week, held firm until Williams, one of the most exciting wingers of his generation, raised the roof when he burst through in the final seconds.

"It's meant everything [to play for Wales]," Williams said. "Growing up as a child that's the only thing you want to do. I have been very privileged and lucky to have that chance. I've had the best time of my life.

"Every time I pull on this jersey it's the best feeling ever."

 

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