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Williams hopes for family double as Joseph Parker prepares to take on Anthony Joshua

28th March 2018

Nick Williams is hoping for a unique family double this weekend - wins for Cardiff Blues and Joseph Parker.

The giant number eight is preparing for the Blues’ European Challenge Cup quarter-final against Edinburgh on Saturday (5.45pm) with an Arms Park semi-final the prize up for grabs.

And just a few hours later in his adopted hometown, his cousin Joseph Parker, who also grew up in Auckland, will be taking on Anthony Joshua in a world heavyweight title just next-door in the Principality Stadium.

Williams, along with Willis Halaholo and Rey Lee-Lo, all had tickets for the big fight but had to scrap their plans when the Blues were given an away draw on Saturday night.

And while he is “gutted” to miss the chance to watch his cousin on the world stage, he is hoping to cheer him on from afar on the back of a momentous victory over Edinburgh.

He said: “It’s a funny old world but not only is he a fellow Samoan but he’s a second cousin to us so we all know who I will be cheering for on Saturday.

“As a family we have been blessed with the gift of sport (his brother is Samoa international Tim Nanai Williams and cousin All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams) and what better way of showing it than on the world stage. 

“I’m proud as punch to see the bro there on the weekend, I’m obviously gutted we can’t make it but hopefully we’ll be cheering him after a win against Edinburgh.

“We had a few tickets but obviously there’s reasons  we can’t control so we’ve passed them on and will cheer him on. It would have been great just to be there, I have a lot of friends who are coming down from London and France to cheer the bro on so hopefully he can do a job.

“Samoa is such a tiny country and fore someone like Joe to put us on the map, not just our family but as Kiwis and Samoans is huge. 

“Rugby is the number one sport but there are only so many positions to fill on the field so there’s a good community of Pacific Islanders who have taken to rugby and Joe was one of them.

“It’s going to be hella tough. If there’s going to be a knock out, I’d say it’s going to be in the first five rounds and if not it will go the whole way. But we’re all here to see someone get knocked out and let’s just hope it’s not Joe.”

Turning his attention to his own task at hand and Williams is relishing the opportunity in front of Cardiff Blues at Murrayfield.

Danny Wilson’s side lost to Edinburgh in the opening game of the season but they go into this Saturday’s showdown on the back of seven consecutive first team wins, most recently five on the bounce in the Guinness PRO14.
Edinburgh have also been in a rich vein of form with seven wins from their last eight fixtures.

It promises to be a red hot occasion in the Scottish capital and Williams insists Wales’ Capital Region can go into the encounter with confidence.

He added: “Whenever you’ve been beaten you want to get up off the canvas and get one back over them. 

“The way they beat us was probably the most disappointing, we got physically dominated and that’s one thing we pride ourselves on so hopefully we can right a few wrongs on Saturday night.

“We have to be confident, we’ve had a good run of games, five on the bounce (in the PRO14) and we want to embrace that confidence and take it to Murrayfield.

“We’ve just been doing the simple things right, we haven’t been trying to over-play or over-analyse, we’ve been concentrating on ourselves.

“The boys have discovered that we can play and we’re playing for play-offs or on the weekend a semi-final spot. 

“We are quietly confident and things are going well in camp, we’ve had those good wins and just need to keep it going.

“The camaraderie that we have, the vale culture is very strong and that’s evident in the wins we’re having.

“There’s a rich history at this club and they have probably under performed in the last seven or eight years so it’s nice to be part of something good and hopefully we can keep it going.”