Liam Williams in awe of Owen Farrell influence at new club Saracens

EXCLUSIVE;LIAM WILLIAMS admits he is “in awe” of new Saracens team-mate Owen Farrell after working alongside the England fly-half on the Lions’ summer tour to New Zealand.
Williams, whose brilliant attacking play created one of the greatest tries ever seen on a rugby pitch in the First Test defeat by the All Blacks in Auckland, now has to fill the try-scoring void at Sarries created by the departure of Chris Ashton, who signalled his arrival at Toulon last weekend with a brace of tries.
For Williams, carrying the huge weight of try-scoring expectation is nothing new — he felt similar pressure in the red of Scarlets and Wales.
He is currently getting up to speed with the Sarries play-book and is able to call upon the help and advice of Farrell, who has just signed a contract extension to keep him at the club — the only one he has played for — for another five years. That is great news for a young Sarries squad who are aiming for a third successive European Champions Cup triumph this season. Williams has a clear idea of what he hopes to achieve in his first season in the English Premiership and told Standard Sport: “The aim is to win the Premiership and Champions Cup with Sarries, and Owen and the older lads are driving the standards at the club all the time.
“Owen is unbelievable and has helped me over the past couple of weeks and is a fountain of rugby knowledge. He is still young, but I am just in awe of him, and on the Lions tour he was exactly the same.
“I think that if you want to be the best you have to be that intense and know exactly what you are talking about — not just speaking for the sake of it. Owen gets things across really well.”
Williams, 26, was regularly picked for the Guinness Pro12 Dream Team, claiming the full back position again last season after helping Scarlets win the title with six tries in 11 matches.
He will need to deliver on a regular basis for his new club if he is to get anywhere near Ashton’s 47 tries in five years for Sarries, who kick off their season against Northampton at Twickenham on Saturday.
Besides a series of bans for various offences, what really marked Ashton out was his famous “Ash the Splash” try celebration as he flew over the try line. Is Williams going to come up with his own version? “No, I haven’t worked on any ‘splash’ and if I do cross the white line I will just score it!” said Williams. “It is always hard to move clubs but the guys have been amazing and I am getting to grips with the whole new play-book here at Sarries. The Premiership is a very strong league and other clubs have been bringing in new players as well, and I cannot wait to get my teeth stuck into the rugby.
“I am happy to live with the expectation and I have played in big games for the Scarlets and in World Cups for Wales, plus the Lions (below).
“I have had a bit of banter being new, and it’s great to learn how different boys like to work; some like the banter while others don’t say as much. I am not the only Welsh player, as Dominic Day has also joined, and going away to Bermuda was great as part of the pre-season to get to know everyone.
“I came into the club on the Thursday, met the staff and the players and then flew out to Bermuda on the Sunday morning, and to be honest it was a bit of shock!
“I shared a room in Bermuda with Alex Goode and he has been great working with me about the calls. I feel really at home.”
Mark McCall, Saracens’ director of rugby, will not rush Williams and the other Lions in the squad back into action. He explained: “We have to take the long-term view with most of them, and to rush them back would be a mistake. Liam has been with us for around four weeks and we can’t wait to bring him into things.”