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Neath captain Gareth Llewellyn
"I think Barry is a great player."
 real 14k

Friday, 6 April, 2001, 10:26 GMT 11:26 UK
Williams returns to Neath
Barry Williams
Barry Williams is determined to add to his Welsh caps
Barry Williams has rejoined his first club Neath on a four-year contract from Bristol.

The 27-year-old British Lion will return to The Gnoll next season after signing a deal worth 420,000, plus a 50,000 signing-on fee.

"It's fantastic news, I think Barry is a great player," said Neath captain Gareth Llewellyn.

"He obviously wants to get back into Welsh rugby - to get back in front of Graham Henry on a regular basis. And it'll certainly help our cause."

He added: "There are a number of people interested in buying the club from the Welsh Rugby Union, which will hopefully give (Neath coach) Lyn Jones a bigger budget to work with.

"If that means better players coming to the Gnoll that means better rugby for the supporters to watch - and more success and silverware."

He's going home to reclaim his place in the Welsh side
  Mike Burton
agent of Barry Williams
Williams still has another year of his Bristol contract left but Neath, who have also signed Allan Bateman from Northampton and Pontypridd's Lee Jarvis, will pay them a 25,000 transfer fee.

The Chepstow-based hooker is desperate to add to his 15 Welsh caps after being consistently overlooked by coach Graham Henry since he moved to the Memorial Stadium from Richmond in 1999.

Llanelli and Bridgend were also interested in bringing Williams back across the Severn but Williams has opted to head back to the All Blacks he left in 1997.

Neath have refused to confirm the signing, but Williams' agent, Mike Burton, said: "This is a brilliant move for Barry.

"He's going home to reclaim his place in the Welsh side. He has had a wonderful time with Bristol but he wants to play international rugby again."

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Bateman re-joins Neath
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