The Welsh international and British Lion has moved from Scarlets in Llanelli to north London and a new, exciting start at Saracens in the Aviva Premiership. Based at Allianz Park, NW4, Saracens are packed full of world-class players – the likes of Liam’s fellow Lions Maro Itoje, Owen Farrell, George Kruiz and Mako Vunipola – and start favourites for the title. It all kicks-off at Twickenham this weekend.
Liam has moved from Wales to London as well, so a dilemma. Who to watch? It didn’t take him long to decide with us set to face Chelsea on his doorstep at Wembley Stadium, connected by EE, recently.
He took his place at Wembley alongside his Wales and Lions’ team-mate and skipper Sam Warburton, a lifelong Spurs fan. Joining the pair? Jude Law, another lifelong Spur.
“It’s just amazing to be here,” said Liam. “I’m a Swansea fan, that’s where I was born and raised, but I’ve moved to London and Saracens and I live just around the corner, so I think I’ll be a fan of my local team now! It’s been a pleasure to be part of it.”
Liam started all three thrilling Tests as the Lions held the mighty All Blacks to a 1-1 series draw in the summer. He was also the architect of what will go down as one of the all-time great tries in the first Test at fortress Eden Park, when he picked up the ball five metres from his own try-line, side-stepped three New Zealand players and carried for 50 metres before offloading in the tackle to Jonathan Davies. He found Elliott Daly, got it back and finally passed to Sean O’Brien to touch down. It was magical sporting theatre.
“I’ve watched it back a couple of times, it was an unbelievable experience,” he said. “The plan was to kick long but then I saw Kieran Read (NZ skipper) coming, I spotted a gap and thought ‘here we go boys’. We scored right up the other end, amazing! To be on that pitch was such a great experience.
“It was a trip to remember. We were out there for six weeks, a long, hard tour that I enjoyed so much. To actually beat them once and to leave with a drawn series… as I said, an amazing experience.”
The 2017-18 Aviva Premiership season begins this weekend with the showpiece London double-header at Twickenham with Saracens taking on Northampton Saints and Harlequins facing London Irish.