Wing Tom Williams admits Scarlets’ absence from last season’s Guinness PRO12 semi-final line-up still hurts, but intends to make the difference to ensure they do not suffer the same fate next term.
Despite recording the same number of victories as both Ulster and Glasgow Warriors, Scarlets were the lowest try scorers in the top eight and their lack of bonus points ultimately saw them finish fifth in the Guinness PRO12 table.
Williams, on loan from Cardiff Blues last season, started four league matches, making seven appearances in all with his sole try coming in a 25-22 win over Munster, his campaign cut short by a shoulder injury suffered in January.
The 25-year-old though, had done enough to convince those at Parc y Scarlets of his worth, and signed a two-year contract in May.
As he continues to recuperate from his shoulder problem Williams’ goal is clear: to ensure Scarlets are among the Guinness PRO12’s big hitters in 2016/17.
He said: “Top four is the ambition – top two if anything.
“It stung a bit last year not being able to reach that top four. We are gunning for it this year.
“We just want to win every game. We need to approach every game as they come. We weren’t consistent enough this year and we need to work on that.
“There are no easy games, every team is very good. It will be a very hard season but we’re still pushing for that top two.
“In Europe we’re aiming to get out of the group and into the quarter-finals.”
Williams is among a host of summer signings at Parc y Scarlets this summer.
While fly-half Rhys Patchell has also made the move across south Wales from Cardiff Blues, British & Irish Lions centre Jonathan Davies has returned from Clermont and Johnny McNicholl ends his time in his native New Zealand.
And Williams is excited for the 12 months ahead.
He added: “I am just keen to get back into it, pre-season has been really good and the boys are looking sharp.
“Matthew Owen will stand out, he comes from a league background – he is strong, he is powerful, he is fast and when he gets his hands on the ball he is one to watch out for.
“My first ambition is to play as much as I can, get in the first XV and be a consistent member of the squad, but my main aim is to play for Wales.
“With Jon Davies coming back in, Rhys Patchell, Johnny McNicholl arriving soon it would be an honour to be a part of that back-line and to play alongside those sorts of names. It is exciting.
“They have had a big break after New Zealand and McNicoll is coming back in after Super Rugby, the squad is coming together nicely, it is just an exciting time.
“I think it will be great for my development, I will learn a lot from playing outside Jon and with Liam Williams too.”
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