Rhys Williams will finally be given a rest from action in London’s Challenge Cup clash with Halifax – after playing 177 CONSECUTIVE games.
The Wales international will see his incredible streak broken on Thursday after being rested for the Broncos’ visit to the Championship side.
It will be the first time in almost SIX YEARS Williams has missed a game, having not previously missed a match game since the 2013 World Cup.
The last time Williams didn’t feature in a match as Wales’ World Cup defeat to Cook Islands on November 10th 2013.
Since then, Williams played 24 straight games for Queensland Cup side Central Queensland Capras before returning to London in 2015, where he has featured in all 138 games the club has played since his arrival.
Along with 15 appearances for Wales, Williams has put together one of the most remarkable runs in the modern game.
Yet despite earning a well-earned rest, the London flier admits he is still in two minds about not playing.
“Me and Wardy (Danny Ward) spoke at the start of the year about this moment potentially coming,” he admitted.
“Last week he asked for my thoughts on missing out. I was of the mind that if it was best for me I’d do it but I wanted the decision to be taken out of my own hands as I’ll always put my hand up to play. I think he was pretty gutted that I wouldn’t make the decision!
“He text me the next day asking the same question and I gave him the same answer again! He’s been great around it.
“It was always going to end at some point, I’d rather do it on my own terms.”
The streak is a testament to Williams’ endurance, although he admits there has been more than one occasion when he shouldn’t have played.
“Many a time,” he said when asked.
“I haven’t done it to carry on the streak, more to do with the circumstances. I had a bad ankle during the Qualifiers last year and it was a grit to get through a few games. I remember during my first year at London we had no other players but I had a terrible sickness bug. I had to be sick on the field because we had no other options. But I’ve been very lucky to come through with managable injuries.
“The more I put my mind to it the more it was a little crazy. It’s nice to have this sort of streak and I said to Wardy I never want to miss a game, but the benefits of doing so probably make it a smart choice.”
Inevitably, many of his peers have asked him about the secret of his durability.
“I don’t think I do anything crazy,” he said.
“I’m pretty diligent doing stretches and swimming on my day off, but I wouldn’t say I’m crazy with my recovery, I’d just say I’m doing the right things.
“I’m fortunate that the backroom staff are very good down here. They were aware I was on a big run of games and they’ve been looking at my prehab and conditioning side all the time.
“Over the years I’ve got better at doing the stuff away from the field too, but I’m massively lukcy. Many times I’ve been asked how I do it and I don’t know. I feel incredibly for Dom Manfredi, I’ve had a lot of fortune and he’s had none.”