Tag Archives: conference

Frank Lampard remains LA Galaxy target

LA Galaxy ready to make new attempt to bring Chelsea veteran Lampard to MLS

|

UPDATED:

21:46 GMT, 20 October 2012

LA Galaxy will try again to lure Frank Lampard to the club in January, with the Chelsea midfielder seemingly out of favour and in the last year of his contract at Stamford Bridge.

Lampard started on the bench against Tottenham on Saturday in a match which Chelsea won 4-2.

Super subs: Frank Lampard and Daniel Sturridge came on from the bench

Super subs: Frank Lampard and Daniel Sturridge came on from the bench

Ramires played alongside John Obi Mikel
in the Blues midfield and both turned in impressive displays, before
Lampard came on as a late substitute.

MLS commissioner Don Garber previously insisted there would be no shortage of suitors were Lampard to make it known he wanted to end his career in America.

Garber said: 'Frank Lampard's a great player. He has a great history with the sport.

'If he decides he wants to play in Major League Soccer, I'm sure any club would be happy to have him on their roster.'

Garber was speaking at the Leaders in Football Conference at Stamford Bridge and asked if he would exploit that opportunity, he joked: 'I'll go into the locker room and see if I can chat him up.'

Ole gunnar Solskjaer skips appearance at Leaders in Football conference as Bolton rumours grow

Solskjaer skips appearance at Leaders in Football conference as Bolton rumours grow

|

UPDATED:

21:39 GMT, 11 October 2012

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer mysteriously went to ground after emerging as Bolton’s first-choice to become their new manager.

Bolton chairman Phil Gartside was in London when Solskjaer pulled out of a speaking engagement at the Leaders in Football conference at Stamford Bridge.

The Molde boss was due to appear on stage and face questions alongside David James and Paolo Di Canio, but was replaced at the last minute by Red Bull Salzburg sporting director Ralf Rangnick.

Bolton-bound Solskjaer is wanted by the Trotters

Bolton-bound Solskjaer is wanted by the Trotters

The official reason was that Solskjaer is recuperating from illness at home in Norway, but the former Manchester United striker is known to have been in England during the international break and was spotted at a United Under 21s game on Monday night.

The 39-year-old, who has also been linked with Blackburn, fits the profile of the young up-and-coming manager Gartside wants to succeed Owen Coyle.

However, Mick McCarthy remains in contention, along with Billy Davies, Roy Keane and Portsmouth boss Michael Appleton.

Frank Lampard should leave Chelsea and move to America, says MLS chief

MLS chief urges Lampard to end playing days in America, not at Chelsea

|

UPDATED:

15:44 GMT, 11 October 2012

Frank Lampard would be welcomed with open arms in Major League Soccer, according to the American league's boss.

Lampard is in the final year of his Chelsea contract and speculation is rife he will not be offered anything longer than a one-year extension.

The 34-year-old England midfielder has long been linked with a lucrative move to the United States, most notably as a replacement for David Beckham at Los Angeles Galaxy.

Frank analysis: Lampard has departed the England set-up due to injury

Frank analysis: Lampard has departed the England set-up due to injury

And MLS commissioner Don Garber insisted this afternoon there would be no shortage of suitors were Lampard to make it known he wanted to end his career in America.

Garber said: 'Frank Lampard's a great player. He has a great history with the sport.

'If he decides he wants to play in Major League Soccer, I'm sure any club would be happy to have him on their roster.'

Garber was speaking at the Leaders in Football Conference at Stamford Bridge and asked if he would exploit that opportunity, he joked: 'I'll go into the locker room and see if I can chat him up…'

Garber claimed he was not aware of any of his clubs making an approach for Lampard, confirming he would be involved in any negotiations if one of them did because the player would would need an exemption from the MLS salary cap.

'Frank would probably fall in the 'Designated Player' category,” Garber added.

'That's a discussion that starts with ownership at the local level, and the league certainly would be involved at some point.

'But a local team owner would have to decide that they would want him on their team.'

Yanks for coming: David Beckham has spent five years playing for LA Galaxy

Yanks for coming: David Beckham has spent five years playing for LA Galaxy

Garber was also hopeful Beckham could be persuaded to play on close to his forties.

The former England captain, 37, signed a new two-year contract at the start of 2012 and revealed he planned to exercise an option to become an owner of an MLS team.

Garber said: 'David has been a great, great ambassador for our league and people like him, people love watching him, ESPN Sports Center loves showing his highlights.

'I hope he becomes the iron man and can play for many more years.

'He does have an opportunity to be an owner of a team in time. We'll continue to talk to him, when he's ready to retire, about that opportunity.

'That discussion really isn't relevant until he retires.'

He added: 'We would love to have a continued relationship with David in any capacity that he and his family would like.

'He has the opportunity to be part of an ownership group. My guess is he's probably going to pursue that.'

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars to play San Francisco 49ers at Wembley in 2013

Look who's coming to town… Jacksonville Jaguars to host 49ers at Wembley next year

|

UPDATED:

10:04 GMT, 11 October 2012

The San Francisco 49ers will be the opponents for the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium next year.

The Jaguars have already been confirmed as the 'home' team for the Wembley fixture in each year between 2013 and 2016.

Jaguars owner Shad Khan confirmed the match-up against the 49ers while attending the Leaders in Sport conference in London.

Pretty in pink: The Jacksonville Jaguars cheerleaders will be heading to London next year

Pretty in pink: The Jacksonville Jaguars cheerleaders will be heading to London next year

London calling: Jaguars' stars Russell Allen and Terrance Knighton (96) will hope to be involved at Wembley next year

London calling: Jaguars' stars Russell Allen and Terrance Knighton (96) will hope to be involved at Wembley next year

'Everyone associated with the
Jacksonville Jaguars is very much looking forward to our four home games
in London through 2016, and we're particularly thrilled and honoured
that our first opponent will be the San Francisco 49ers,' Khan said.

'This
is a unique and important opportunity for the Jaguars franchise, as
well as for our fans and community. To share this stage in our first
year at Wembley with a rising power like the 49ers will bring additional
attention and respect to what we're trying to achieve as a franchise.
We can't wait to see our global vision for the Jaguars become reality
next season.'

Return: San Francisco 49ers were the home team at Wembley in 2010

Return: San Francisco 49ers were the home team at Wembley in 2010

The 49ers were the 'home' team at Wembley in 2010, beating the Denver Broncos 24-16.

'The
49ers are excited and privileged to once again serve as ambassadors for
the NFL and the game of football internationally,' said 49ers chief
executive officer Jed York.

'Our
2010 experience in London was tremendous. The atmosphere at Wembley
Stadium on game day was electric. The ability for us to share 49ers
football with our faithful fans internationally is a treat for everyone
in our organisation.'

This year's Wembley game will see the St Louis Rams play the New England Patriots on October 28.

Different ball game: This year's popular NFL fixture at Wembley will see the St Louis Rams entertain the New England Patriots

Different ball game: This year's popular NFL fixture at Wembley will see the St Louis Rams entertain the New England Patriots

Michael Owen comes clean on England penalty against Argentina in 1998

Former England international Owen comes clean on THAT tumble against Argentina

|

UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 10 October 2012

Michael Owen has admitted going to ground too easily to win penalties for England.

The Stoke City striker said there was a crucial difference between diving and 'pushing the boundaries', but admitted that he fell over easily to win spot-kicks against Argentina in the 1998 and 2002 World Cups.

The issue was brought back into the spotlight when Stoke manager Tony Pulis accused Liverpool's Luis Suarez of diving at Anfield on Sunday, and called on the FA to impose a retrospective ban.

Making his point: Owen (left) admitted he has dived to win penalties in the past

Making his point: Owen (left) admitted he has dived to win penalties in the past

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor says he wants a review panel to advise the FA on diving and admitted he is in favour of guilty players being banned after video evidence has been studied.

Owen, now 32, was judged to have been brought down by Roberto Ayala in St Etienne in 1998 and Mauricio Pochettino in Sapporo four years later, allowing Alan Shearer and then David Beckham to score for England.

'I'd say 75 per cent of people could stay on their feet for a penalty,' said Owen at the Leaders in Football conference at Stamford Bridge.

'I have been guilty as well. I played at the 1998 World Cup against Argentina and I was running flat out, got a nudge, went down. Could I have stayed up Probably.

Going over: England were awarded a penalty in 1998 after Owen went down under a challenge from Roberto Ayala

Going over: England were awarded a penalty in 1998 after Owen went down under a challenge from Roberto Ayala

'Then four years later (referee Pierluigi Collina) gave me a penalty again against Argentina. Again, I could have stayed on my feet – the defender caught me and I did have a decent gash down my shin from it but I could have stayed up.

'It's a very difficult subject to talk about, especially to people who have not played the game. There is a major skill in trying to outwit an opponent.

'For the actual player, one against one, you're trying to draw people, to commit them to get into the box because you know as soon as you have got them in the box they are petrified of sticking a leg out or doing anything. It is a skill to get them one on one or isolated.

'No-one is for blatantly diving, of course they are not, but there is a part of a striker that actually tries to entice the (defender's) leg to come out to try to win a penalty. It is a skill and it has been done for years and years and I don't think it will ever leave the game.'

Deja vu: Owen won a penalty for England four years later against the same opposition

Deja vu: Owen won a penalty for England four years later against the same opposition

Owen said that diving is now more prevalent within the English game than it was a decade ago, and he is convinced that it is primarily because of the influx of foreign players.

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez admitted he had to educate a player from Spain; to explain to him that diving was not acceptable in England despite the player's claim that he was only 'making the referee's job easier'.

Former Real Madrid striker Owen said: 'I'd say it's worse than it was 10 years ago, with the foreign influence of the players coming from South America, Spain and Italy.

'When I was a kid, and I used to watch Italian football, you would see a lot of simulation and you didn't really see it in England. Now English players are as guilty as foreign players.

Feeling the heat: Owen is hopeful of featuring for new club Stoke at Old Trafford in their next game

Feeling the heat: Owen is hopeful of featuring for new club Stoke at Old Trafford in their next game

'But I think the foreign influence started the ball rolling in England.'

Collina, now chief refereeing officer at UEFA, added: 'A player has a right to fall if a foul was committed. If he falls without contact this is the problem and if there is no contact this is cheating.

'Simulation is not only against the referee, it's cheating your opponent.'

Taylor told ESPN: 'We would like a review panel comprising respected ex-pros and ex-refs to review such instances and advise the FA. 'I know how the FA feel about retrospective action but at least the advice would be in place.'

Michael Owen claims lots of England players fear playing for their country

Beat the boos! Owen claims large number of players fear playing for England

|

UPDATED:

18:21 GMT, 10 October 2012

Michael Owen claimed there was 'a long list' of England players who were paralysed by fear when when turning out for their country.

Owen, who earned 89 caps between 1998 and 2008, revealed he knew of international team-mates who were scared stiff of criticism of their performances and of being jeered by their own fans.

The 32-year-old felt that was a major reason why England had underperformed in recent years.

Intense: Michael Owen claims players fear the reaction of the media and fans when playing for England

Intense: Michael Owen claims players fear the reaction of the media and fans when playing for England

Revealing the fear: Michael Owen speaks about players feelings about playing for England at the Leaders in Football conference

Revealing the fear: Michael Owen speaks about players feelings about playing for England at the Leaders in Football conference

Speaking at the Leaders in Football conference at Stamford Bridge, the Stoke striker said: 'I've heard many people in the past leading up to England games or after England games talking about what the papers are going to say the next day about them, or how they're going to get booed.

'It's a very intense feeling playing for your country and I don't think people can express themselves, or I don't think people do express themselves, as well as they can or they do at club level.

'At that level, you feel loved, the fans are on your side, you're used to playing with the players week in, week out.

'All of a sudden, you go away with England and it's a little bit, 'As long as I do all right', 'I don't want to be criticised so much'.

'There's certainly a bit of fear.

'There would be players out there who play equally as well for England – or any national team – as they do for their clubs.

'But there are a long list of players that you think, 'why can't you play as well for England as you do for the clubs'

Fighting fit: Michael Owen is desperate for a run in the Stoke team

Fighting fit: Michael Owen is desperate for a run in the Stoke team

'There's got to be a reason and I would say that fear certainly plays a part in that.'

He added: 'To the man in the street, it all looks very rosy. Everything looks pretty rosy about being a professional footballer in many ways.

'It ain't easy playing for England. The pressure of playing for England, the time spent away from your families, or whomever it might be, the tournaments.

'The fans would see you on an evening playing and then forget about you for the rest of the week.

Raring to go: Michael Owen hopes to play for Stoke against Manchester United

Raring to go: Michael Owen hopes to play for Stoke against Manchester United

'They're the times when your sat in your hotel room staring at four white walls for 10 hours a day for about three or four days.

'It's a long, long stint and it's quite mentally draining.'

Owen denied England meant less to players now than in the past and, despite his reservations, was still keen to add to his caps.

He joked: 'Some people think I've retired from football full stop.

'I'd never do that, really. But I certainly don't go to bed thinking 'I'm going to be playing for England again'.

'It certainly would be a bonus. It would mean that I would need to get back on the pitch and rediscover my deadly goalscoring touch and everything else.'

Real Madrid match abandoned at Rayo

Lights out! Sabotage claim after Madrid's match at Rayo is abandoned in the dark

|

UPDATED:

22:02 GMT, 23 September 2012

Real Madrid's La Liga match at city rivals Rayo Vallecano was abandoned in bizarre circumstances on Sunday after Rayo officials said the lighting at their Estadio de Vallecas stadium had been sabotaged.

The game was due to kick off at 9.30pm local time but the stadium was in semi-darkness and fans were still waiting outside the locked arena as workmen toiled to fix the affected lights.

Rayo president Raul Martin Presa said unidentified persons had cut the cables on some of the lights and when it became clear they could not be repaired in time the game was abandoned.

Waiting game: Real Madrid's match with Rayo was abandoned due to alleged sabotage

Waiting game: Real Madrid's match with Rayo was abandoned due to alleged sabotage

Waiting game: Real Madrid's match with Rayo was abandoned due to alleged sabotage

Discussions were then held to try to rearrange the match for Monday, Presa confirmed at an impromptu news conference on the side of the pitch as some of the Real players took the chance to have a light training session.

'There were a huge number of fans waiting and we ask their forgiveness but we hope they understand that these are circumstances beyond the club's control,' he said.

'They came here with all the excitement in the world hoping to see their team play one of the best sides in the world.

'Unfortunately due to an act of vandalism we are not going to be able to enjoy this match tonight.'

Fruitless: Electricians try to repair the floodlighting of the Vallecas stadium

Fruitless: Electricians try to repair the floodlighting of the Vallecas stadium

Real director of football Miguel Pardeza said the club did not want to risk another lighting failure and wanted to play the match at 5pm on Monday.

'We have a very packed calendar and Rayo obviously does not,' Pardeza said.

'We have absolutely no responsibility for what has happened here and we have to defend our rights.

In darkness: Fans were locked out of the stadium after the floodlight failure

In darkness: Fans were locked out of the stadium after the floodlight failure

'As we have no guarantee that we can play tomorrow at 8 pm, 5pm tomorrow is when we want to play.'

However, Presa told Spanish TV that was 'almost impossible' as many Rayo fans would not be able to attend.

The initial message he had received from the professional league (LFP) was that the game would be played at 8pm and Rayo would do everything to ensure the lights were back to normal, he added.

Decision time: Officials debate whether the match can go ahead before deciding it can't

Decision time: Officials debate whether the match can go ahead before deciding it can't

London 2012 Olympics: Colin Moynihan wants spare tickets to go to troops covering G4S shortfall

Moynihan: Spare tickets for Games should go to troops drafted in to cover G4S security blunder

|

UPDATED:

12:28 GMT, 21 July 2012

The head of the British Olympic Association has called for any spare tickets for the events at the London Games to go to some of the troops drafted in at short notice to cover the G4S shortfall in security staff.

Colin Moynihan, chairman of the BOA, said it would be a way of thanking the military personnel – many of whom have had to give up their leave following active service to cover the Games.

Recruits: Armed forces were drafted in due to security company G4S being unable to provide enough trained staff

Recruits: Armed forces were drafted in due to security company G4S being unable to provide enough trained staff

Moynihan told a news conference today: 'I'm not responsible for tickets but if anyone deserves to fill any empty seats it's those forces in their down time.

'It makes a lot of sense – if there are some tickets available, let's respect their tremendous contribution and say thank you.'

Reward: Colin Moynihan believes any spare tickets should go to the troops

Reward: Colin Moynihan believes any spare tickets should go to the troops

New digs: The soldiers will stay in temporary barracks in Tobacco Docks, Wapping, throughout the Games

New digs: The soldiers will stay in temporary barracks in Tobacco Docks, Wapping, throughout the Games

Moynihan said the large presence of military personnel on the Olympic Park – some 3,500 have been brought in after security contractors G4S failed to provide the necessary number of staff – had already had a positive effect on the British team.

Blunder: Nick Buckles' company G4S failed to deliver on Olympic security

Blunder: Nick Buckles' company G4S failed to deliver on Olympic security

'I have gone out of my way on behalf of the BOA and the team to go and talk to them because I really what to thank them,' added Moynihan.

'I know the sacrifices many of then have made personally to be here to support the team and the stress they are under in delivering their day jobs.

'I want to reflect that every single member of the British team is 100% grateful to them for giving up their time at short notice to make sure we have a safe and secure Games.

'These guys are so into sport and are really supporting the team, and just today some soldiers down from Chelmsford were saying “when we do get down time can we go out there and see the events”.

'If there are any spare tickets it makes eminent sense for the armed forces to have them and would be a great way to say thank you to them.'

Vitali Klitschko: David Haye chose Dereck Chisora over September super fight

You had your chance! Vitali claims Haye chose Chisora over September super fight

|

UPDATED:

16:08 GMT, 16 July 2012

Vitali Klitschko reminded David Haye he rejected the chance to meet in a heavyweight super fight in favour of facing Dereck Chisora.

Haye demanded a showdown with Klitschko after flattening Chisora in an explosive five-round victory at Upton Park on Saturday night.

The 31-year-old expressed his fear a fight against Klitschko would never happen because his performance against Chisora was 'too good'.

Speaking out: Vitali Klitschko, who faces Manuel Charr in September, claims David Haye rejected the chance to fight him

Speaking out: Vitali Klitschko, who faces Manuel Charr in September, claims David Haye rejected the chance to fight him

Klitschko, speaking in Moscow to publicise his clash with Manuel Charr on September 8, insisted Haye should have been his next opponent.

'David Haye was supposed to be at this press conference,' Klitschko told Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

Making a point: WBC heavyweight champion Klitschko speaks during his news conference in Moscow

Making a point: WBC heavyweight champion Klitschko speaks during his news conference in Moscow

'He had a concrete offer for a fight in September and he refused.

'He turned down a fight with Vitali Klitschko in favour of one with Chisora.'

Haye opted against fighting Klitschko due to the size of the purse being offered, knowing he could make more money from settling his grudge match with Chisora.

Klitschko's manager Bernd Boente declared yesterday that the 40-year-old is unlikely to face Haye now because he hopes to launch his political career in Ukraine in October.

If he fails to tempt his preferred target into one more fight, then Haye will enter retirement for a second time satisfied by what he has achieved.

'If a fight with Vitali happens down the line, fantastic,' Haye told BBC Sport.

'If it doesn't then I've been undisputed cruiserweight champion of the world and a heavyweight champion of the world.

'I've achieved more than I anticipated I would do as a youngster.

'I'm happy with what I've done in the ring and it's nice to finish on such a high.

'When I retired after losing to Wladimir (Klitschko) a year ago, it left a bitter taste in my mouth.

'But this time round after fighting in London in front of 30,000 of my fans, it really did put a smile on my face.

Turning up: Vitali's next opponent Charr interrupted Saturday's post-fight press conference at Upton Park

Turning up: Vitali's next opponent Charr interrupted Saturday's post-fight press conference at Upton Park

'If that's my last fight, it's one I'm very proud and happy of.'

Frank Warren stated on Saturday that a meeting between Haye and Vitali would have to be staged at Wembley such would be the interest.

And the promoter believes Haye would triumph – if he carried the fight to the older Klitschko brother.

'It will happen, 100 per cent, unless Vitali retires. If Dereck had won he'd have fought Wladimir, if David won he was going to fight Vitali,' Warren said.

Fists of fury: Haye was impressive in his victory of Chisora

Fists of fury: Haye was impressive in his victory of Chisora

'Now David against Vitali is a natural fight. I was impressed with David against Chisora and he's made me change my opinion of him.

'David fights a lot off his back foot and if you do that against big guys, it suits their gameplan.

'But if you jump on them and get under that jab, the one thing they can't do is fight on the inside and deal with a high workrate.

'Vitali's an old guy now, he's 40 years of age, and Dereck has shown how he can be beaten.'

Sonny Bill Williams to join Japanese and Australian rugby league

Sonny Bill Williams says he is 'trapped by a debt of honour' after moving to Japanese rugby league

|

UPDATED:

09:29 GMT, 9 July 2012

Sonny Bill Williams may have anticipated a fan backlash from his decision to quit the All Blacks rugby team to pursue more lucrative opportunities in Japanese rugby and Australian rugby league.

At a news conference on Monday at which he announced his imminent departure for Japan – where he will earn $1.2 million for 12 matches with the Panasonic Wild Knights – and Australia's National Rugby League, Williams portrayed himself as a man trapped by a debt of honour.

Williams told reporters he agreed on a handshake several years ago to eventually return to NRL and now had no choice but to honor that pledge. Showing every sign of regret he said 'I've chosen my path, now I've got to walk it.'

New start: Sonny Bill Williams will move to Japan to play rugby league

New start: Sonny Bill Williams will move to Japan to play rugby league

Williams said “in a perfect world” he would remain in New Zealand with the All Blacks and his current Super 15 team the Waikato Chiefs where, he said, 'I kinda felt like I'd found my place.'

'But it just goes back to (the fact) I've given someone my word,' he said.

'This was a while ago and I've had to go on with it even though it was tough.'

Williams' regret may be somewhat allayed by the possibility that, with the largest-ever contract awarded to a foreign player in Japan and the $800,000 he is expected to command in his first season in the NRL, he will become the first Australasian rugby player in either code to earn $2 million in a year.

/07/09/article-2170838-0F12262700000578-833_468x332.jpg” width=”468″ height=”332″ alt=”Switching codes: Williams will move to rugby league” class=”blkBorder” />

Switching codes: Williams will move to rugby league

Williams declared his interest in playing for the All Blacks while at Toulon and in 2010 he was signed to a contract by the New Zealand Rugby Union which saw him make his test debut, against England, within months. Few players in the 107-year history of the world's most successful rugby team have earned a jersey more easily or tossed it away more casually.

Williams won admirers for his raw athleticism, his speed and power. But he won little affection from many All Blacks fans. His refusal to sign more than a one-year contract emphasized the fact, proved on Monday that he was always open to better offers.

He seemed not to understand the enormous value New Zealanders place on the All Blacks jersey and he brought the polarizing nature of celebrity to a team that is also a national institution.

Williams was never far from the spotlight: pursuing his nascent professional boxing career – he holds the New Zealand professional heavyweight title – or dating the 18-year-old daughter of a former New Zealand rugby league star. He always gave the impression that playing for the All Blacks was a station in his career, not its destination.

Fans were always ready to celebrate his ability, though he grappled for a long time for rugby's complexity after league's simplicity. He was a member of the New Zealand team that won the Rugby World Cup last year, though he made most of his appearances from the bench.

Jack of all trades: Williams has tried his hand at boxing

Jack of all trades: Williams has tried his hand at boxing

His 15th and final test for the All Blacks, against Ireland last month, was also likely his best: he scored two tries and showed an ability, absent for much his career, to create play for others.

But his departure was anticipated. Much as New Zealand rugby would like to have kept him, it recognized that he would leave as soon as his price was found.

Famous shirt: Williams won't play for the All Blacks again

Famous shirt: Williams won't play for the All Blacks again

'They came to me and gave me an offer and at first I turned it down,' Williams said of the offer from Japan. “But they came back with an offer that I pretty much couldn't refuse.'

He stressed that he took a pay cut when he left Toulon to play in New Zealand.
'If it was about the money then I would have just stayed in France where I was getting pretty good coin,' he said.

The New Zealand Rugby Union sought to make the best of Williams' departure and said he would be welcomed back if he ever chose to return. Williams suggested that was unlikely.

'If things work I'd like to one day come back. But I'm not going to hold my breath because there are good players coming up,' he said. 'In a perfect world, yes but it is a pretty difficult situation and I just have to make the most of it.'

All Blacks flyhalf Dan Carter, who has turned down a number of large offers to remain in New Zealand, showed no bitterness at Williams' departure.

'It's a real shame,' Carter said. 'Watching his progression over the last couple of years, he'd turned into an awesome rugby player. It's sad to see him go but I'm sure he'll be successful in whatever he does and I wish him well.'