Williams relishing responsibility
Scott Williams has become a centre of attention for Wales during their current autumn international series despite a chronic midfield injury crisis.
Wales' resources in that department have been repeatedly stretched following injuries at various intervals to Jamie Roberts, Jonathan Davies and young Cardiff Blues prospect Cory Allen.
All three players are sidelined for Saturday's Millennium Stadium appointment with Australia, when Wales will look to halt a run of eight successive defeats against the Wallabies.
Williams, though, has relished considerable extra responsibility placed on his shoulders as the senior centre and defence captain, albeit just 22 games into his Test career and only a month after his 23rd birthday.
"I realised this was a chance for me," said the Scarlets player, who had won 15 caps as a substitute prior to November games against South Africa, Argentina, Tonga and now Australia.
"With the injuries it is a bit unlucky for some, but it's part and parcel of rugby. It is much better starting the game than being on the bench.
"I have given 100 per cent with the chances I have had and tried to show what I can do. I was a bit disappointed with the game against South Africa, but happy to have a good win against Argentina.
"You just have to take the opportunities to prove you should start in the next game.
"Hopefully, I will be involved in the Six Nations. Every time I get on the field I am just trying to show what I can do, but the rest is up to the coaches."
Davies, especially, looked in imperious form against the Springboks earlier this month, making two brilliant breaks before suffering a ruptured pectoral muscle that threatens to sideline him possibly until March.
And Williams readily acknowledges how much of an influence British and Irish Lions Test star Davies has been on his career, for the Scarlets and Wales.
"What he has achieved in a short space of time is outstanding," Williams added.
"Anything can happen, and he has taken all the opportunities he has been given. He has massively influenced me, his experience has really rubbed off."
Carmarthen-born Williams is widely remembered in a Wales shirt for the breakaway try he scored against England in 2012 that secured a priceless victory on route to RBS 6 Nations Grand Slam glory.
Williams' all-round game has progressed considerably since then, even though he accepts his Twickenham heroics will remain the dominant memory of his career so far for many Wales supporters.
"People mention that day all the time," he said. "It was a big moment in my career and definitely something I will always remember.
"I would like to think I can show a bit more than just being remembered for one try, even if it was a good one. It was two seasons ago, and hopefully I have improved as a player.
"I have enjoyed the responsibility (of being made Wales defence captain). Shaun (Edwards) has given me the defence role and makes sure I get on to the other boys.
"I think I have matured as a player this season. Normally I am a little bit quiet, especially when I first came into the squad, but I have worked on that and I am a lot more comfortable with the way I express myself and put forward my opinions on things."
Williams now has his sights fully trained on Australia and ending a demoralising losing run. Out of eight defeats since 2008, half those reversals were by three points or less.
"We seem to be saying the same thing every year," he added. "We have come close on so many occasions against Australia, and we all know what happened last year (Wales lost 14-12 in injury-time).
"They are still a world-class team with world-class players, so it is going to be a challenge again."