Williams can’t wait for Olympic Stadium outing
PUBLISHED: 17:30 17 August 2015
Leo Wilkinson Photography
World Cup winner to play for Barbarians in historic match
Ali Williams has spoken of his pride at being selected as one of the players to take part in the first ever rugby game at the Olympic Stadium when the Barbarians take on Samoa on August 29.
The Stadium’s first game of rugby – ahead of five matches played at the Rugby World Cup venue - will also see the famous Barbarians celebrate their 125th anniversary.
The Barbarians will take on World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup finalists Samoa ahead of the stadium hosting five Rugby World Cup 2015 games later this year, including visits from current champions New Zealand and Six Nations champions Ireland.
Williams, a Rugby World Cup-winning former All Black, made an appearance on the South Park Lawns in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to speak about the upcoming Barbarians game and looked ahead to the New Zealand match against Namibia on September 24.
Speaking about being part of two prestigious milestones, Williams voiced his own excitement about rugby’s arrival at one of the UK’s most iconic sporting venues, saying: “I don’t think there are many sports fans around the world who didn’t watch what happened here in 2012 and instantly wanted to be a part of it.
“I can’t wait to step out on the turf, especially given that it’s such an historic occasion for the Barbarians.
“When you wear the Barbarians shirt, you don’t just want to win, but you want to put on a good show of attacking rugby along the way, so hopefully the fans will get behind us.
“I’m sure the match on August 29 will provide the party atmosphere that rugby fans love and that this will continue throughout Rugby World Cup 2015.
“The tournament presents a unique opportunity for fans to come and see current champions New Zealand play at this incredible Stadium.”
As part of preparations for Rugby World Cup 2015, a number of aspects of the matchday experience will be undergoing tests and adaptations during the game on August 29.
England Rugby 2015 Managing Director Steve Brown added: “We are delighted to work with the Barbarians, Samoa, Rugby World Cup 2015 host city Newham and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to help deliver the first ever rugby match in this iconic stadium.
“The Barbarians have a great history and with a fantastic line-up, fans can enjoy a great game of rugby and see Samoa in action before Rugby World Cup 2015.
“Hosting this match at the stadium will give fans the chance to enjoy this fantastic venue and build excitement for Rugby World Cup 2015.”
Tickets for Rugby World Cup 2015 matches at the stadium on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park are still available at tickets.rugbyworldcup.com.