George Williams ready for "weird" reunion with Wigan Warriors

George Williams is excited by a new challenge as he prepares to face his old club Wigan for the first time.

Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 5:09 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 5:10 pm
George Williams playing for Warrington last week. Picture: SWPix

Williams turned down the Warriors when he returned to England as a free agent in mid-season following his release by Canberra Raiders and opted instead to join one of their arch rivals, Warrington.

He was not ready to make his Wolves debut when they played Wigan at the end of July but will face a reunion at St James' Park on Sunday in the Dacia Magic Weekend.

"It's going to be pretty weird," Williams said. "Obviously I'm Wigan born and bred and was a Wigan fan growing up.

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"It's definitely going to be a strange one, it's something I've never done before, but I can't get caught up in that.

"It is my old team but I've played for Canberra too. I'm a Warrington Wolves player now and I've got to do my job for the team on Sunday.

"It was always going to be a tough decision but, speaking to Warrington, it was a new challenge and where the club is going really excites me. I'm pleased with my decision."

Williams, who spent seven seasons with his hometown club, says the banter has already begun with his old team-mate Oliver Gildart.

"I was with him yesterday so the chat has started already," he said. "I've known him since we were 11 but I only played against him once, at school.

"Joe Burgess was in the same team and they pumped us by 40. He reckons he's going to skin me on the outside but it's just normal chat, having a laugh."

Williams has started the last four matches for his new club and is confident his partnership with his old England teammate Gareth Widdop is starting to flourish.

"I'm trying to find my feet in the team now," he said. "We've not had too many games together but Gaz is a great player and he's been really good this year.

"He's probably Warrington's go-to man so I'm just happy to be at the side of him and do the best for the team.

"Hopefully we can complement each other and showcase our partnership at the back end of the year."

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Williams will go up against England second rower John Bateman, a former Canberra teammate who also cut short his stay in the NRL and is currently struggling to recapture his old form for the Warriors.

"I've played with Batty for a long time and I know what he's all about," Williams said.

"I've not seen too many of his games when I was in Australia and he's been injured for a bit. But we all know how good John Bateman is so we're not underestimating him at the weekend."

Warrington will have skipper Jack Hughes, winger Josh Charnley and prop Mike Cooper back in a virtual full-strength team for the clash between the teams placed third and fourth in the table.

The Wolves' only absentee will be winger Tom Lineham, who will be missing for at least the next two games after picking up his latest suspension and will face a difficult task getting back into coach Steve Price's team.

"He's going to have to work extremely hard," Price said. "Josh Charnley comes back into the squad and we've got Josh Thewlis and Matty Ashton too."