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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 May, 2004, 09:00 GMT 10:00 UK
Williams ends Test career
Barry Williams has won 24 caps for Wales at hooker
Barry Williams has won 24 caps for Wales at hooker
Ospreys hooker Barry Williams has decided to retire from international rugby after winning 24 caps and touring with the 1997 Lions.

The 30-year-old made his Test debut in 1996 against France and won his last cap in April 2002 against Scotland.

But new Wales coach Mike Ruddock was expected to ask Williams to tour South Africa and Argentina this summer.

"The level of commitment to play with Wales is higher than ever and I have a young family," Williams said.

"I am sure other parents in my position would understand that I want to spend as much time as possible with them during this key stage in their lives.

"I want to strike the correct balance between rugby and home life... at this stage in my career, I simply do not want to spend that amount of time away from my family."

Touring with the Lions in 1997 was a fantastic experience
Barry Williams

However, despite the demands placed on him by wife Diane and 20-month-old son Logan, Williams remains fully committed to the Ospreys regional side and has not ruled out touring with the 2005 Lions to New Zealand - should he catch coach Clive Woodward's eye.

"Things are progressing well with the Ospreys, I am enjoying my role within the squad both as captain and as a senior player," Williams added.

"Touring with the Lions in 1997 was a fantastic experience, and if the opportunity arose again I would jump at the chance.

"It was the highlight of my career and it would be an honour to play for them again."

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