Socceroo warned: Don't rush it Rhys

Injured Socceroo Rhys Williams has been cautioned against rushing his return to football in a desperate bid to make Australia’s World Cup team.

Despite being well ahead of schedule with his rehab, Williams was urged by Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka to take it step by step.

The Aussie’s World Cup dream was shattered when he ruptured his Achilles tendon while playing for the English Championship club in January.

It was a sad case of déjà vu for the 25-year-old who was ruled out of football’s showpiece event in 2010 with a persistent pelvic injury.

Karanka told Gazette Live: “If he plays in the World Cup it will be good news for us but I told him that he needs to take it step by step.

“Sometimes you want to run before you can walk and you lose two or three more weeks.

“I asked him to be careful. I understand his desire and it’s good that he wants to play in the World Cup. It’s good that he has this mentality.”

With a preliminary 30-man Socceroos squad due to be named by May 16 Williams is racing the clock to prove his fitness.

And Karanka said it was likely Australia coach Ange Postecoglou would want to see the defender back on the park at club level before selecting him for the national team.

“I think so because if I was the national coach I would want to see the players,” Karanka said.

A return in April for Boro would give Williams about four games to press his case.

1 comment


The World Cup probably means just a little more to Australians than the rest of the world.
For the following reasons 1) There is a bond in Australia as we had to wait 32 years and we are in it together 2) The Socceroos team spirit is much more than any other team by far 3) We only have that tournament as our main goal. The others think winning the Euro cup is important or South American cup, we just want the biggest cup there is !
Go Rhys ! but be sensible and listen to your body. Also waiting for Robbie to come back and Chris Herd to finally debut ?
We will win it soon for those reasons and because that's what Australians do at sport - Win !