Gallagher Premiership Rugby: Hat-trick hero Liam Williams happy to take the Saracens stick

PUBLISHED: 18:11 08 September 2018 | UPDATED: 18:11 08 September 2018

Saracens wing Liam Williams (pic: Paul Harding/PA)

Saracens wing Liam Williams (pic: Paul Harding/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Liam Williams admits he has taken some stick from his Saracens team-mates after scoring three tries from close range in their 44-23 victory at home to Bristol Bears in the Gallagher Premiership.

Williams only came off the bench for the Allianz Park outfit in the 52nd minute, but completed his hat-trick inside 26 minutes.

Matt Gallagher, Alex Lewington and Billy Vunipola also crossed for Saracens in the bonus-point success, with Owen Farrell adding 14 points from the tee.

All three of Williams’ tries came against Bears came from close range, with the Wales international praising his colleagues for their hard work inside of him.

But 27-year-old revealed that had not stopped his team-mates from poking fun at him with regards to his hat-trick.

“I’ve got a bit off stick off the boys – three tries and I think I covered about 12 metres!” joked Williams.

“To score three tries is good, but it was good from the boys who were doing the work inside me to put me over in the corner.”

The hat-trick saw Williams make a brilliant seasonal bow for Sarries, having seen his pre-season campaign disrupted by a groin injury.

The British & Irish Lions tourist revealed he had returned a week ahead of schedule, though his comeback may also have been hastened by injuries to fellow wings David Strettle and Sean Maitland in their victory at Newcastle Falcons earlier this month.

Lewington replaced Maitland at Falcons and scored two tries, while he got his third of the season against Bears.

Gallagher, meanwhile, came into the starting XV to face Bristol in place of the injured Strettle and made his mark early on with the opening try.

Even with the injuries to Strettle and Maitland, there seems to be a real battle on for the wing berths in the starting line-up for Saracens.

But that is something Williams welcomes, believing it can only be a good thing for the north Londoners.

“There’s always good competition in the squad and we’ve got strength in depth in the squad. It’s always good and healthy to have a bit of competition for our places.”

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