Williams 'humbled' by Ken Stephen Medal nomination
He's been injured, been dropped and had to fight to reclaim his place in a starting NRL side.
But for Canberra Raiders halfback Sam Williams, the battles he faces in his career can't compare to those thrown at children living at Ronald McDonald House.
Williams has been nominated for the prestigious NRL Community Award and the Ken Stephen Medal for his work as an ambassador to the children's charity.
The 27-year-old's return to the NRL has been full of speed-bumps and highlights, but the chance to try and bring some minor relief to sick and injured children and their families grounds Williams.
"We take losses really hard and it's often tough, but we get in our little rugby league bubble, but you get out there and see what real problems are, it puts thing realty into perspective," the halfback said.
"It's one of those charities that's fairly close my heart because there's a lot of people from my region in Cooma that have been up here and stayed in the house and looked after by the staff at Ronald McDonald.
"I've seen the good work they do, and they work they put in around the community, so I just try and help them out where I can."
One case in particular has caught the attention of Williams, after 12-year-old Louie Mould was left a quadriplegic after a freak trampoline accident just before Christmas last year.
The Cooma boy is on the long road to recovery and was a special guest in the change rooms earlier this season to meet Williams and the rest of his NRL heroes.
"It was really good to have him in the sheds a few weeks ago at the Bulldogs game, it was great to see a smile on his face," Williams said.
"I saw a video he's got a little bit more progression with his arms and he was feeding himself.
"So, he's a really strong kid and he's got a really good family around him so hopefully he can keep moving forward and he can continue to get better."
Williams has also given up his time to cook meals as part of Ronald McDonald House's Meals from the Heart program and he is aiming to take part in the RedWig run in October.
The playmaker said it was an honour to be considered for the award given how much good work NRL players from all clubs do for their local communities.
"I see first-hand what all of the players do around here and the other clubs in the rest of the comp are no different," Williams said.
"So to be put up against some really worth candidates, if it came my way it would be greatly appreciated, but the person who wins it will thoroughly deserve it because I know how much has to be done to not only be nominated but to win it as well because it's a pretty special award."
As for Canberra's performances on the field this year, Williams said the Raiders knew they had underachieved given the talent they possess.
But on a personal note he said he was thrilled to be back in the first-grade side and was looking to help the club end 2018 on a high.
"I've really enjoyed first of all getting back into the team and playing and being a part of the group under the coaching staff we've got here, that was my first goal," he said.
"Obviously a few of the results haven't gone our way and I've learned a lot from the experiences I've had this year.
"A few more positive results would have made it a great year but I'm just really glad to be back in the green jersey."