After two months on the side lines with a torn hamstring No8 Nick Williams is looking forward to returning to action against Benetton Treviso at the Kingspan STadium on Friday night.
The Polynesian powerhouse hasn’t played since the home win over the Scarlets at home in Europe.
“It’s been a while but it is good to be available for selection and back on the wagon,” said Williams.
“I tore my hamstring and it was a Grade Two so it was a good whack, going into the Leicester week it just wouldn’t come right but over the break I got everything back on the go and I’m raring to go on Friday night.
“I have been trying to get into the gym as much as I can but us bigger lads need to get on the cardy machines a bit more and more than the smaller fellows, all in all it has been good and fingers crossed I’ll get as chance on Friday to get back on the horse.”
Williams was close to playing in the Leicester Tigers game but with Ulster already out of the Champions Cup the decision was taken to make sure the hamstring was fully recovered.
“It was one of those games would have I got much out of playing considering we were down and out of Europe so it was just a matter of catering to it and the medical staff made a call and looking back now it was the right call and full credit to them.”
Williams thinks fellow Kiwi Tim Boys signed on a short term contract will be a great addition to the Ulster squad.
“I’ve played against Timmy a few times, I don’t know a lot about him but what I do know is he is a very tough player, he’s you’re typical seven really rugged, great link man and I think he will add a lot to the Ulster environment and hopefully he will get a chance.
“I’d rather play with him than against him and it is a pleasure to have him,” he joked.
Williams knows Ulster must start to put a run of results together if they are to make the playoffs.
“This is all we have to play for, we just don’t want to be a top four team we want to play here (Kingspan Stadium) in the final and that is another incentive that the final has been given to Kingspan it gives us an extra want to be there.
“Treviso are a tough team, I have played in Italy and played against them many times, physical they will try to dominate us so we have to get over that hurdle and play a bit of our own rugby which I don’t think we have done as much as we have wanted to over the last couple of games.”
Ulster got the prefect night for the Tigers game and score four tries and Williams is hoping for the same this week.
“It’s great to see that we can play like that. I think the fact there was no pressure we just went out and expressed ourselves and played the way we wanted to play.
“Each individual just played the way they wanted to play and individually it was amazing and if an individual puts in a performance it shows as a team and it was great to watch, it was a good way to go into the break and for the next block of games.”
With four matches during the Six Nations Williams is calling on the senior players to step up to the plate.
“This tests the true depth of the team just not ourselves but a lot of the other teams we play against.
“Everyone is affect by the internationals so this is where I guess they look at the foreign boys to bring a bit of leadership and a bit of ownership, this is probably the chance for some of the younger lads to get a crack as well.”
“Treviso have been hit hard as well and so have we.
“The young lads have a chance to put their hands up and maybe lead as where they thought they wouldn’t get a chance to.
“It’s going to be exciting and there will be names that the majority of people haven’t heard of, the injuries are back now so everybody is raring to go.
“We always knew the likes of Bestie and Tommy Bowe would be gone and it is good to see people like Hendy getting in there.
“We have the nucleus there and have the core group of players to work on the scrum and lineouts.
“Our maul has been going well which hasn’t been necessarily a strength of ours over the last few seasons.
“It’s good to know to know if we have to play nitty gritty rugby if the weather is bad that we can back ourselves with a strong set piece and maul.”