Scarlets 3 Toulon 26: Scott Williams wants Europe return
Wales centre keen for another season among Europe's elite after their European Champions Cup ends with defeat to the champions
Scott Williams wants the Scarlets to kick on in the race to finish in the top six of the Guinness PRO12.
The Wales centre, captaining the team in the absence of hooker Ken Owens, is keen for the West Walians to secure a return to European Champions Cup action after their campaign ended on Saturday.
This is a competition we want to be playing in. There’s a big focus on getting into that top six.
To achieve that, the Llanelli-based side will need to repeat last year’s sixth-place finish, but injuries have hit their campaign so far.
Away form has also hit Wayne Pivac’s squad with no win on the road since February 2014, despite being unbeaten at home in the league this campaign, and the Scarlets have a lot of work to do as they languish in eighth place, five points off sixth-place Connacht.
“I’ve enjoyed it personally, [but] we have to focus now back on the league,” Williams said.
“This is a competition we want to be playing in. There’s a big focus on getting into that top six.
“This is the competition you want to play in; this is the highest we can play at this level.”
While their front row has been decimated, reigning double champions Toulon took a team to the Parc y Scarlets boasting 490 international caps and head back to the south of France with a guaranteed home quarter-final after a comfortable win.
Despite the scoreline against Europe’s premier club, and an impressive performance in the Round 1 clash in the south of France, the Scarlets put in a solid shift, but Williams admits the champions were too strong for the West Walians on the day.
“The boys gave 100 per cent, at the end of the day they were just too strong,” Williams added.
“In fairness to them they were very good around the contact area and turned a lot of our ball over.
“We were on the back foot from the beginning but we stayed in the battle and were still in the game half-time.
“They have strength in depth, you can’t do well in this comp with just 15 boys.
“We’ve lost some of our key players but we can’t use that as an excuse. We have some young boys who’ve come in, given 100 per cent and done a good job.
“It’s for them now to keep improving, they’ll have learned a lot from the last few games. They’ll have gotten a lot of experience from that.”