By David Williams
Carys Williams-Morris has been cleared to play for Wales this weekend – three years after she played for England.
In a double boost for the 28-year-old centre, she has also been given RAF elite athlete status from her employers, meaning she has been released to train full-time with Wales in the build-up to the World Cup this autumn.
Williams-Morris could make her debut for Wales against Canada in Nova Scotia on Saturday, following a rule change by World Rugby last year.
The regulations now allow for players to represent the country of their birth – or their parents’ or grandparents’ – after a stand down period of three years since their last cap for their previous nation.
Williams-Morris grew up in the Midlands, but her parents are both from north Wales.
— Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) August 22, 2022
Any switch of allegiance has to be rubber-stamped by World Rugby, who have examined the paperwork and given the green light for the Loughborough Lightning player to now wear red instead of white.
“My family are all so proud already and they have already booked flights to Canada just in case I get the call,” said Williams-Morris.
“Although I was born and brought up in England, we are a very proud Welsh family.
“We were brought up speaking Welsh and the whole family is thrilled I have this opportunity with Wales.
“Having been in the England pathway growing up, I played for England Under-20s which, unbeknown to me at the time, prevented me from being involved with Wales later on, so when the opportunity came to play for the England senior side, I took it.”
— Swim England Qualifications (@SE_Quals) October 18, 2018
Williams-Morris won the last of her five senior England caps in 2019 and would become the first player – man or women – to play for both country’s senior international team.
“I’d love to get my first cap on the weekend. If not, England is the next opportunity and obviously to play in the world cup would be huge. I can concentrate on those goals thanks to the elite athlete status and then look forward to continuing the job I love.
“My employers the RAF have allowed me to train and play full-time which is brilliant. They support you to have a brilliant career but also allow you to pursue your sporting goals too which was a big attraction for me joining the RAF.”