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Welsh visitors follow hero to Tigers

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Fly-half Owen Williams enjoyed the opportunity to meet a new generation of players from his hometown club at Welford Road on Saturday.

After appearing as a second-half replacement, Williams converted the fifth Leicester Tigers try in a 31-6 bonus-point victory over Newcastle Falcons and then met the young players from Ystradgynlais Rugby Club where he grew up and began his own rugby career.

Twenty players from Ystradgynlais Under-12s joined a Tigers Matchday Coaching Clinic on Saturday morning then went to the big game at Welford Road.

They joined a half-time parade on the pitch with Tigers vice-captain Louis Deacon and stayed afterwards to meet Williams.

Team coach Andrew Lloyd-Hughes said: “We’re a bit far from home coming from Wales so it’s not something we can do for every game, but it was a brilliant day.

“To come for the Matchday Coaching Clinic experience just added to the day for our boys. The question-and-answer session with Tigers players Scott Steele and Harry Thacker was smashing and a real chance to get to know the life of a Tigers player and how our guys could relate to them while also getting a bit of inspiration from them too.

“Then to meet Owen in the Tiger Bar after the game with the boys was brilliant.

“We’re so proud of him, coming from our club and to now play for the Leicester Tigers is amazing.

“The welcome in Leicester was second to none, we loved every minute of it and we’ll definitely be back.”

Williams has played a part in each game in the Aviva Premiership season so far following his summer move from the Scarlets and said he really appreciated the support from his hometown club.

“It’s really nice to know that people still care and follow what I do in my rugby career,” Williams said.

“It was really nice to see everyone at the game. I spoke to people I haven’t spoken to for a few years, all the kids asked me questions and it was great to see their enthusiasm.”

Bleddyn Jones, who played more than 300 games for Tigers in the 1970s and is well known as the voice of BBC Radio Leicester commentary, was born in Brynamman which is just a few miles from Ystradgynlais, and he joined Williams and Saturday’s visitors after the game.