Duncan Williams: Bleyendaal so laid back he could be "falling asleep" during games

Williams stepped up in place of the injured Conor Murray on Saturday afternoon

Duncan Williams

Image: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

He may have been handed a late start, but Duncan Williams filled the void left by Conor Murray magnificently to help secure Munster a Champions Cup semi-final date.

Williams stepped in for the injured Munster scrum-half and was not daunted by the size of the task ahead of him.

"I was told within the week just to be ready," he said at today's press conference in UL.

"I treat every week the same whether I'm starting or subbing. I do the same things everyday in training. I was ready to go from the start of the week."

Earlier in the week, Munster said they would give Murray every opportunity to prove his fitness before Saturday's game at Thomond Park. The most realistic expectations at the time were that Murray had a 50-50 chance of playing. 

"I wouldn't have said it was 50-50. It was probably 75% in his favour, 25% in my favour. I was just happy to get the start and for the team to win to get through to the semi-final.

"It was a good win, a hard-fought win. They were still in the game for 70 or 75 minutes. That just showed how tough a game it was. It was frantic and high-paced, a very tough game.

"I was happy enough with the way I played, but the team comes first and as long as the team was winning I was happy. 

"If I didn't play well and we won, I'd still be happy. I'm just more than happy that we won."

Duncan Williams in action against Toulouse last Saturday at Thomond Park. Image: ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson


The Irish province ran out 41-16 winners and 21 of those points came from the ever reliable boot of Tyler Bleyendaal. His performances this season have been one of the reasons why Munster are competing on both the European and domestic fronts.

Williams says his ability to keep himself relaxed under pressure is why he has become an ever-present in the current Munster squad.

"He's an easy guy to play with. He's very laid back. Sometimes I'm looking outside me to see if he's still awake. He's so laid back he could be falling asleep there.

"No, he's a good guy to play with. He's got a very calm head."

Looking ahead to their semi-final date with Saracens, he said: "I watched them yesterday, they're a very impressive team. They've threats all over the park and a great defence.

"They've got some big ball carriers and execute their game plan very well."