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Ali Williams worried for Test rugby future

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Lynn McConnell     15 Apr 2015     Getty Images

In the wake of a recent spate of announcements of players heading to British and European clubs, including All Blacks Charles Piutau and Colin Slade, the World Cup winner who is now playing his rugby for Toulon in France told The Guardian he was concerned if the number of younger players making the move grew.

"You do not want all this movement to ruin international rugby because that is what makes the game unique in the sporting world.

"The question is whether you want to stop it, but a solution has to be found," he said.

Williams said, "More and more players are coming over here and it is a different rugby experience."

But it needed to be controlled for the future of rugby, he said.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in France and they have been a bonus two years because I felt finished, as if my body had had enough.

"Toulon have looked after me, and the rest of the older guys here, allowing us to keep our zimmer frames until the Wednesday or Thursday of each match week, and more and more players in the southern hemisphere will want to experience what I have.

"It is not just an opportunity, but a career, and the financial side means you have to make the most of it," he said.

However, it shouldn't be at the cost of Test rugby.

Williams is on the verge of claiming another major prize as his Toulon club are in the semi-finals of the European Cup and are to play Leinster in Marseille on Sunday.

If they could make the final it would be at Twickenham.

"Playing at Twickenham would mean a lot to me. It was where I made my debut for the All Blacks and I will be living in London after leaving Toulon.

"I have yet to decide exactly what I will be doing: I have a few options to consider, including the media, but I would want a break before considering coaching," he said.