Top 14

Williams reverses retirement to join Racing

Former All Blacks lock Ali Williams will come out of retirement to play for French champions Racing 92 in the 2016-17 Top 14 season.

Williams, who earned 77 caps for New Zealand and won the 2011 Rugby World Cup during his illustrious international career, hung up his boots in 2015 following a successful stint with Toulon.

However, the 35-year-old will now return to competitive action, having been hired by Racing last term to aid with the media commitments of World Player of the Year Dan Carter.

"When you chuck the game in, you think that's me and you have no desire to get back playing," Williams told the Sky Sports rugby union podcast.

"And then you just keep around the game and involved and when the body has its time to recuperate, you think 'well there are possibilities that I could go again'.

"Being active with Racing during the year, it was talked about for a long time through the course of the year. And we just decided it would be a good option to come back.

"Personally, I'm just really excited to get another opportunity to play, hugely excited but also nervous and conscious, because you don't want to come back and ruin what was a great 15 years. Let's hope the plus one is just as good as the last one."

Williams was one of seven new arrivals confirmed by Racing on Wednesday, together with Anthony Tuitavake, Leone Nakarawa, Olivier Missoup, James Hart, Viliamu Afatia and Gerbrandt Grobler.

The latter, who joins from Super Rugby franchise Stormers, is banned until October after testing positive for a banned substance during the 2014 Currie Cup.