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Dublin: 12 °C Monday 1 September, 2014

Ulster drop Nick Williams after ‘alleged unauthorised absence’

It has been reported that the back row forward returned to New Zealand without obtaining permission from the province.

Nick Williams will miss Friday's visit of Dragons to Ravenhill.
Nick Williams will miss Friday's visit of Dragons to Ravenhill.
Image: Darren Kidd/

ULSTER RUGBY HAVE dropped forward Nick Williams from their squad ahead of this weekend’s RaboDirect Pro12 match with Newport Gwent Dragons.

The province have punished the Kiwi, who missed last weekend’s victory over Treviso, for taking a leave of absence without permission from management. The BBC is reporting that Williams returned to his native New Zealand without permission.

A statement, issued by the province this afternoon, reads, “Nick Williams is unavailable for selection for Friday night’s match against Newport Gwent Dragons due to an internal investigation into alleged unauthorised absence.

“Ulster Rugby will make no further comment on the matter at this time.”

Williams has played just 10 games for Ulster this season. Injuries and form have combined to lessen the impact he made last season and which earned him the Pro12 Players’ Player of the year. In 2012/13, the 30-year-old scored seven tries in 23 appearances.

Williams recently signed a contract extension with Ulster that will see him remain with the province until June 2016. Roger Wilson is expected to continue at No.8 for Friday’s visit of Dragons.

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