Liam Williams: Scarlets back's move to Saracens "for personal reasons" - Pivac

Liam Williams
Liam Williams has made 101 appearances for Scarlets

Wales full-back Liam Williams' move to Saracens for 2017-18 was decided by personal reasons rather than money issues, according to Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac.

It was announced on Monday that the 25-year-old would move to the English and European champions from next season.

"It's life outside rugby. It's not about the money, the money was not the issue" Pivac told BBC Wales Sport.

Pivac says there are no discussions with Leigh Halfpenny as a replacement.

The Scarlets boss forecast that Williams would return to the region later in his career.

Williams was spotted by the region playing for Waunarlwydd while working as a scaffolder, after missing out on the academy system, and has since become a Wales regular, winning 38 caps,

His partner, Welsh model Sophie Harries, is based in London for her career.

"Personal reasons came into it, I know in my discussions with Liam that that side of it is very important to him so I totally understand his reasons" Pivac explained.

"We weren't off [Saracens' offer] at all. We don't like to lose any players, but players are at different stages in their lives as well as their careers. People do have lives outside rugby and I'm pretty sure he'll be back at the club in the future."

Leigh Halfpenny
Leigh Halfpenny played in Toulon's 22-21 defeat by Scarlets in December

Pivac also downplayed the chances of Wales full-back Halfpenny, who is out of contract with Toulon in summer 2017, being a possible replacement.

Halfpenny is the subject of an offer from Cardiff Blues and the Welsh Rugby Union, and has in the past been linked with David Young's high-spending Wasps.

"I haven't spoken to Leigh. It's looking at the squad we've got and what we want to do in other positions as well," Pivac said.

"We're not actively talking to Leigh, though in the past we have spoken to him."

Canada wing DTH van der Merwe is also leaving the Scarlets at the end of the current season for an English club, thought to be Newcastle Falcons.

But Johnny McNicholl has joined this season from New Zealand's Crusaders while 22-year old wing Steff Evans has signed a contract extension.

"Gutted to see Liam go, for the last three years he's been the main guy in the backs for the Scarlets and it's not what we wanted. He's going to a big club in Saracens and I think he's going do do well there as well" said Evans.

"Our back three have been really good this season and we've got a lot of competition, they are big boots to fill but it's not just one person."

Pivac ruled out any interest in Argentina wing or full-back Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, formerly with Cardiff Blues, who had been linked with the Scarlets.

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