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Shane Williams admits he once hated Welsh rugby and Steve Hansen

Shane Williams

Shane Williams has admitted that he once hated Wales head coach Steve Hansen, as well as the Welsh rugby team itself.

Williams made his debut for Wales in 2000, under then head coach Graham Henry, but when Hansen took over in 2002, the diminutive Welsh winger soon found himself on the outside looking in.

Hansen believed that Williams wasn’t big or physical enough to play international rugby, while he also had issues with the Welshman’s defensive abilities and rarely selected him in his teams.

Wales rugby legend Williams was speaking on a new BBC Wales documentary called ‘Slammed’ and admitted that he had nothing but contempt for both Hansen and Welsh rugby after he was dropped from the team.

Shane Williams on Steve Hansen’s time as Wales head coach.

“I was watching the Six Nations, Wales weren’t doing particularly well and I was quite happy. [I] hated the Welsh team, hated everything associated with it, hated Steve Hansen with a passion,” Williams said, via WalesOnline.

“I went through a slump when Steve dropped me from the team. I was taking creatine, spending more time in the gym, working on my guns and everything else instead of working on my speed.

“I put on a stone of weight in a few weeks and it just didn’t work. Yes, I was more muscular but my pace had slowed, I was getting injuries and I was missing games.

“It was just a vicious circle. It was a horrible time in my life, the worst two years in my rugby life, for sure. One day it just clicked. Stop thinking about Steve Hansen, stop worrying about what he has said. Work on your speed, your fitness and let’s go.”

Welsh rugby was in a dire place.

Hansen, who would eventually go on to win the 2015 Rugby World Cup as head coach of the All Blacks, endured a difficult time in charge of Wales.

Wales lost five of their first six matches under the New Zealander, and things would get even worse in his second year as head coach, as the Welsh lost 10 consecutive matches in the build-up to the 2003 Rugby World Cup.

That poor form leading up to the sport’s showpiece tournament helped Williams get recalled to Wales’ squad, and while the winger didn’t get game time against Tonga, Canada or Italy, he was selected to start in two valiant losses to New Zealand and England.

Hansen’s time with Wales didn’t last much longer, as he stepped down as head coach after the 2004 Six Nations, while Williams would go on to win 87 caps and score 58 tries for his country.

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