Scarlets centre Scott Williams in form of his life and ready to fill Wales spot for autumn series
IF, as they say, timing is everything, then Scott Williams has delivered the best form of his blossoming career with precision accuracy.
Just over two weeks out from Wales's opening Test of the autumn series against the Springboks and with Jamie Roberts absent because of an ankle injury, the Scarlets centre is making an unanswerable case to wear the No. 12 jersey at the Millennium Stadium.
After the 23-year-old delivered his spectacular solo effort in the Heineken Cup win over Harlequins, former England centre Jeremy Guscott hailed Williams as "a superstar in the making".
He then followed that up with another impressive try-scoring display in the thrilling 26-26 draw with Racing Metro last weekend.
"The tries are a bonus, but it's all about getting a regular run of games," said Williams, one of five centres named in Warren Gatland's 35-man squad for the four-Test series.
"After having a shoulder operation over the summer, it has been good to be going into games without an injury and touch wood it can stay that way.
"Towards the end of last season I wanted to dig in for the team, but it got to a point where I couldn't tackle off my left shoulder. Now I can tackle off both, which helps!"
Williams's partnership with British Lion Jonathan Davies — a shoo-in for the South Africa opener — will also surely aid his case.
The pair have forged a strong midfield alliance in recent seasons, one that is developing into one of the most potent in European rugby.
"Me and Jon get along well, he was outstanding with the Lions and to be able to play alongside him is a real bonus," added Williams.
"Since he came back from the Lions, he has grown again. His confidence is higher and he's not only great to play with, but great to train alongside too.
"It rubs off, it has to. If you watch him and work with him, he is bound to make you a better player."
Williams will be joined by six of his Scarlets colleagues when the Wales squad comes together at their Vale of Glamorgan base on Monday.
But before then, they must negotiate a trip to Italy and a RaboDirect Pro12 clash with Zebre.
"We need to get our league campaign back on track, we haven't had the start we have wanted so we need to take the form we have shown in Europe back to the Pro12," he added.
"We were quite frustrated after last weekend's draw against Racing. We had enough opportunities to win, but let ourselves down in a couple of key moments.
"Yes, we would have taken six points and top of the pool at the start, but it feels as if we should be further ahead, to be honest.
"It is important now that we hand over to the boys with a big win.
"Zebre are a team who are getting better. We are all aware of what happened to the Blues against them and we don't want that to happen to us.
"We know it won't be a pushover, but hopefully we can come back from Italy with maximum points.
"We have learned over the last couple of years that these are the games that count at the end of the season."