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Liam Williams Moves Closer To Becoming First Treble Winning Welshman

Liam Williams is on course to become the first Welshman to win the ultimate Triple Crown of Grand Slam, European Champions Cup and domestic league title.

The Wales full-back – already a Six Nations winner – scored two tries as his Saracens team thrashed Glasgow 56-27 at the weekend to clinch a semi-final spot in the Heineken Champions Cup.

Williams also helped create David Strettle’s first try for Sarries, who are also chasing an English Gallagher Premiership title.

Saracens may finish the regular season second behind leaders Exeter, but they look certain of a home play-off spot.

It means if Williams’ team can hold onto second place in the table over their five remaining matches, then he would only need to win four climactic matches – semi-finals and finals in both Europe and England – to finish the season a triple champion.

The only Wales player to get close to that feat before was Gareth Thomas who won a Grand Slam and conquered Europe with Toulouse back in 2005. But he missed out on a domestic winners’ medal when Biarritz won the French domestic title.

Saracens completed the double three years ago and, despite the loss of captain Brad Barritt to a serious ankle injury, look well placed for a repeat.

With a number of their players winning the Grand Slam that year with England, some have already savoured the treble.

The same achievement of domestic Guinness Pro 14 crown, European title and Six Nations Grand Slam was done by Leinster and Ireland players last year.

Now, Williams – who left the Scarlets two seasons ago – has a chance to become the first Wales player to follow.

Although their semi-final opponents Munster are two-time winners, Sarries have the advantage of the game being played in Coventry rather than Limerick.

Williams and his teammates took Glasgow apart without Owen Farrell, who missed the game after his wife Georgie went into labour.

Williams’ Sarries teammate Jamie George said: “Our aim, without doubt, is to go unbeaten for the rest of the season.

“Because to achieve what we want to achieve, that is what we’ll need to do.

“At the start of the year it was pretty clear we wanted to have a real good crack at this. To be the only unbeaten team in the (Champions Cup) tournament is a statement of intent.”

“Saturday was pretty satisfying,” he said. “You win a European quarter-final with more than 50 points on the board and it’s great.

“But the reason why we have been successful is we will always nit-pick it, every little detail. We are disappointed with how we started and finished the game.”

“We can’t be too hard on what we did but I honestly think we are quite a long way off where we need to be – which is disappointing, but also exciting at the same time.”

Welsh Heineken Champions Cup Winners

1997 (Brive) Tony Rees
1998 (Bath) Ieuan Evans, Nathan Thomas, Richard Webster
2000 (Northampton) Allan Bateman, Andy Newman
2004 (Wasps) Rob Howley
2005 (Toulouse) Gareth Thomas
2013 (Toulon) Gethin Jenkins
2015 (Toulon) Leigh Halfpenny

Leinster became only the seventh side to complete the coveted European and League double last year:

1996: Toulouse
2001: Leicester Tigers
2002: Leicester Tigers
2004: Wasps (Rob Howley played in both finals at Twickenham; Warren Gatland, Shaun Edwards were coaches)
2016: Saracens
2014: Toulon
2018: Leinster


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