Williams relishes Munster return

27 December 2012 06:50:16 EST

Ulster's Nick Williams says he's looking forward to locking horns with his former team-mates when his current side take on Munster on Saturday.

The number eight played for the Limerick outfit before joining Italian team Aironi, where he stayed for two years.

You've got mates off the field, but you're not mates when you go on it.

Nick Williams

However, once they disbanded, the back-rower signed for the Belfast-based side and has impressed during the first half of the season.

Williams has been at the heart of the province's outstanding campaign with Mark Anscombe's men emerging victorious in 14 of the first 15 games in the Pro12 and Heineken Cup.

At the weekend, the 29-year-old Kiwi will come head-to-head with his former employers once again and hopes they can continue their fine run of form in what will prove to be a fierce battle.

He said: "It's like a Blues-Crusaders game back in New Zealand, it's a provincial rivalry. You've got mates off the field, but you're not mates when you go on it.

"I've been involved with the Irish set-up for a while now after playing at Munster and, when we played Ulster or Leinster, everybody got an extra foot taller and everybody wanted to beat the hell out of each other."

The New Zealand-born player added: "In my first year in Italy when we faced Munster, it's just natural to want to try and prove something when you face your former team.

"But being a professional rugby player you can't really make it about yourself, it's all about the team."

Ulster are 11/8 to win the Pro12 Garnd Final this season, with Munster 125/1 and Leinster 8/15.

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