Williams was part of a winning squad in the first five tournaments of his career as the Blitzboks enjoyed a brilliant streak when World Series restarted after the COVID-enforced break.
However, his next five outings were not as successful. Not only did Williams miss a few tournaments due to various injuries, the Mooinooi resident also witnessed a slump in form by his teammates.
The 25-year-old will be donning the green and gold in an 11th World Series tournament this weekend in Singapore and according to the Springbok Sevens sweeper, it is time to get back that winning feeling again.
Williams feels the exuberance of youth could just do it for the Blitzboks, who face New Zealand, Australia and Hong Kong in their pool.
“We had a lot of new guys coming into the squad and that did not make things easier, but the nice thing about the new players at every tournament is that we all know how talented they are and what they can do for the squad,” said Williams about the fact that 28 players have been used in eight tournaments this season.
Williams was part of the squad that won the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games last year – where the Blitzboks defied the form book to beat Fiji in the final in Coventry, England – and said the mood in the camp is a positive one.
They will welcome Jaiden Baron on Wednesday, as the sweeper flies in to replace Zain Davids and for Williams, who plays in the same position, the arrival of Baron is good news.
“It is always a pity to lose anyone to injury and Zain was a rock for us over many seasons, so we wish him well in his recovery,” said Williams.
“Jaiden is so fast off the mark and brings new energy with him, so that is great. The younger guys do have the freedom to express themselves in the team and if everyone does that while executing their roles in the team, we tend to play well.
“The message to the new guys is to go out and express yourself and learn from your mistakes.”
Williams regularly discusses his game with the experienced campaigners such as Selvyn Davids, Dewald Human and Justin Geduld, while he also gets good technical feedback from coach Renfred Dazel back home.
“We certainly try to be better every tournament,” he said.
“In Hong Kong we had some good moments on the field, and we showed some good urgency, although the results did not go our way. The weather did not make things easier either.
“But that is behind us now and we are ready for Singapore. It has been hot and humid since we arrived, so the conditions are different from last week and we hope the outcome will be as well.”
Williams said the collective will carry them this weekend: “We do play as a team and if everyone executes, we will be successful. Rugby is a team sport and if everyone adds to the effort, the results will come.”
The Blitzboks’ pool fixtures on Saturday, 8 April (SA times):
07h40: Hong Kong China
11h28: New Zealand