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This time last year no one had heard of David Williams.<br><br>He had not played a single game of first grade, was recovering from a shoulder injury and had contemplated giving the game away when he was playing park football and pulling beers just to make ends meet.<br><br>But just seven months after making his debut with the Sea Eagles, the ‘Wolfman’ has a Premiership ring, an Australian jersey, a cult following among the Brookvale Oval faithful and is now about to play in the World Club Challenge against Leeds at Elland Road, England.<br><br>His meteoric rise to stardom in 2008 included 14 tries in just 20 NRL games – and the 22-year-old still can’t believe how quickly it all happened.<br><br>“I was in rehab with a shoulder reconstruction, so I was just looking to come back from that,” he said.<br><br>“My initial aim was just to play any sort of football, because I hadn’t played in a long time. Certainly playing a few first grade games was the peak of my goals.<br><br>“I never even dreamed of playing in the finals, let alone playing in the Australian jumper.<br><br>“It is an experience I will never forget and I am very thankful for the opportunity.”<br><br>To put things into perspective, one of Williams’ goals in 2009 is to play a full season in the NRL – remarkably, it is one of the only things he hasn’t achieved in the game.<br><br>“There are certainly more goals I want to achieve this time around,” he said.<br><br>“I set them at the start of this year, there are definitely more rep honours to be had this year.<br><br>“Even just a full year of NRL is a goal, because it is something I have never experienced before, so I am still trying to make the number 5 jersey at Manly my own and hopefully the rest will take care of itself.”<br><br>The Sea Eagles’ quest to become the first team to defend their NRL Telstra Premiership crown starts with the World Club Challenge – and Manly coach Des Hasler is very keen to bring the trophy back to Australia.<br><br>“Dessie is definitely very competitive,” Williams said.<br><br>“I think he was back here the Monday after the Grand Final preparing for England, that is how dedicated the boy is.<br><br>“It was pretty rough the first week after having eight weeks off, but we are well and truly back in the swing of things now.<br><br>“I’m just looking forward to the game and hopefully we can bring the Cup back.”<br><br><br>
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