Ed Williamson joins London Welsh
Williamson, 28, can play at number eight or blindside flanker, and spent 11 seasons at Newcastle Falcons before joining Leeds’ Championship title bid in January.
Williamson went on to make a total of eight appearances for Leeds during his short spell with the club, including putting in an impressive display in their 39-29 win at Old Deer Park. Williamson setting his former club on the way to victory with their opening try.
That he was playing at all was an achievement after being told his playing days were over following a hand injury sustained while playing for Newcastle against Northampton Saints in the A League in February 2011.
However, after corrective surgery Williamson was given the all clear to resume his career and joined Leeds.
Williamson had originally begun his career with Newcastle as an 18-year-old, making his first team debut during the 2004/05 season against Leicester Tigers. In all, he made a total of 48 appearances for the club.
Arguably his finest hour for the Falcons came in their 35-3 win over Bristol at the Memorial Stadium in February 2009 in a crucial game at the foot of the Premiership table. Williamson crowning a man of the match performance with a try.
He has represented England at U19 level and during his enforced injury break from the game coached England Students and Newcastle University.
Williamson said: “After the year I had out it was a Godsend to get back to doing what I was good at and love to do – something didn’t think I was ever going to do again.
“Massive thanks to Leeds for giving me the opportunity to play there at the end of last season – it was a brilliant experience and I loved being back in that environment.
“It reignited my love for rugby and made me want more. I’m going to give this second chance the biggest crack I possibly can.
“The main thing for me at Welsh was when I came down with Leeds the atmosphere was one of the best I’d experienced.
“Wales and England were playing and that entire day was a great experience. The London Welsh fans were massively respectful of us and it was just a really good rugby day.
“Lyn Jones is a big pull as well – you want to be coached by a top coach. I also had a lot of craic with the boys from Welsh – they seem like a good bunch and club just came across really well.
“It’s a club that really wants to go places and has direction. That coupled with what was obviously a good team spirit was a big factor for me. It was quite an easy decision in the end.”
London Welsh Head Coach Lyn Jones said: “Ed’s being unlucky with injuries but he impressed against us earlier in the year after his stint with Newcastle. He’ll bring a huge amount of experience as a well as physical edge.”