Edinburgh prop Angus Williams swaps labouring for front row as hard graft pays off

Angus Williams has had to work for his place in the Edinburgh squad and the tighthead prop is certainly not afraid of hard graft.

Prop Angus Williams has become a valuable member of the Edinburgh squad.  (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)
Prop Angus Williams has become a valuable member of the Edinburgh squad. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

The Kiwi took a job as a labourer when he first arrived in Scotland and worked on the grounds of a house overlooking Murrayfield.

Born and raised in the coastal town of Whitianga, the likeable Williams travelled over from New Zealand right at the start of lockdown. He came over to play for Watsonians in the Super6 but found himself ensconced in a flat in Edinburgh.

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He stuck it out and his form for the Myreside men led to a call up for Edinburgh and he has emerged as a key player for Mike Blair’s side recently after WP Nel was suspended and Luan de Bruin was injured.

“Yeah, it’s been a wild ride. It’s been awesome,” said Williams, who played in the second half of Saturday night’s Challenge Cup win over Bath which secured Edinburgh’s place in the quarter-finals.

“When I first arrived with Watsonians, I wouldn’t have thought I’d be sitting here now. It’s been a great journey.

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“I sort of knew that there were opportunities available. I was hoping to get involved and see what happened.”

Lockdown meant it wasn’t plain sailing for the prop, whose mum is Scottish.

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“I was stuck in the flat for a fair while, probably a couple of months,” he said.

“When lockdown started easing there wasn’t much Super6 rugby at that time. So we were only training twice a week and socially distanced so I was doing a bit of labouring too. It was funny as I was working on a site that overlooked Murrayfield.

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“So I would bike past the stadium every day which was cool. I was just helping with some excavation work, someone was extending their house and I was just a helping hand. I’m glad to see the back of that now and just focus on rugby. Labouring was a lot tougher! I’m enjoying being in a full-time rugby environment now.

“Edinburgh is a good place to be a prop. The standard is really high. I’ve found it really valuable to be learning from some of the more experienced guys.”