Williams versed in Raiders' NRL history

Melissa Woods
New recruit George Williams has swotted up on the rich NRL history of the Canberra Raiders

If the Raiders have to self-isolate coach Ricky Stuart has plenty of movie material prepared for English NRL recruit George Williams.

The Test halfback made his NRL debut last Friday night in Canberra's opening round win over Gold Coast, starring alongside halves partner Jack Wighton.

With that match possibly the only this season to be played in front of a live crowd due to coronavirus restrictions, Williams was grateful to have the chance to experience the famous Viking clap by the Raiders fans as the players ran on.

"It's been a long time coming to play for the Raiders and I signed probably last year so I was really nervous before the game," Williams said.

"I was pretty happy that I got to experience the Viking clap - that was something special so I was pleased all around."

The Raiders are ensuring that Williams is well-versed in the culture of the "Green Machine" and history and traditions of the Canberra club.

The 24-year-old said he wasn't aware of the achievements of his coach - and fellow halfback - Stuart before his arrival in Canberra.

A Raiders great during his 10 years at the club, Stuart was part of the team that won three premierships in 1989, 1990 and 1994 and were runners-up in 1991.

He also played in 14 State of Origin matches for NSW and nine Tests with the Kangaroos.

Williams said he had been taking classes in the Raiders' history.

"The club are quite big on what happened in the past, the history," he said.

"I came over not knowing anything at all with respect to the club and what happened 30 years ago, I'm not that old.

"Once or twice a week we do a history lesson which is really good and something I've never been involved in."

Williams said Stuart featured in quite a few "highlights".

"He sneaks up the back when he drops a goal or scores a try or sets one up so now I realise how good he was and it's a pleasure to learn off someone of that calibre."

The Raiders next face the Warriors on the Gold Coast on Saturday afternoon after the match was relocated from Auckland due to the New Zealand' government's coronavirus travel requirements.