End of the road for Martyn

The career of a veteran Lion finally looks set to come to an end this summer. [more]

End of the road for Martyn

The career of a veteran Lion finally looks set to come to an end this summer.

Triple Lions tourist Martyn Williams appears destined to call it a day after the Blues announced they wouldn’t be offering him a new contract for 2013.

Reports had suggested the 36-year-old might quit the professional game at the close of last season but he eventually signed a one-year deal to remain with the Blues after they initially appeared willing to say goodbye to one of their most famous sons.

But with financial difficulties now gripping the Welsh game, Blues chairman Peter Thomas has stated that Williams will be one of numerous players leaving the capital city in three-and-a-half months’ time.

"There are a number of players who will be out of contract and their contracts won't be renewed," Thomas told the BBC.

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"There will be a lot of players leaving but a lot of those players will have come to the end of their playing careers.

"The one classic example, and I'm sure he won't mind me saying so, is Martyn Williams."

If Williams does decide to finish his career rather than look for another club next term, his is sure to win plenty of praise for the considerable contribution he has made to our sport.

A Lion in 2001, 2005 and 2009, Williams won four Test caps for Britain and Ireland’s elite in New Zealand and South Africa.

Having retired from the international game after the 2007 World Cup, Williams was persuaded to return to the Test fold by Warren Gatland and was a key member of his country’s 2008 Grand Slam-winning campaign three seasons after being named the RBS 6 Nations Player of the Championship award when Wales achieved their first clean sweep in 27 years.

The star openside went on to taste a Test-match victory with the Lions on his first international start for the tourists against the Springboks in July 2009 – some eight years after he was an unused replacement for the side that beat the Wallabies in Brisbane.

Having missed out on selection for the 2011 World Cup and found himself marooned on 99 caps for his country, fans had hoped Williams would be given a Millennium Stadium send off like namesake Shane last December but a broken arm prevented him from finishing his Wales career on a high.

He made his second Blues start of the season in Friday night’s win over Ulster and will now look to end his nine-year association with the region (he also previously played for Cardiff and Pontypridd) with some silverware in either the Heineken Cup or RaboDirect PRO12.

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