Clarets sign Williams

Last updated : 30 January 2009 By Tony Scholes
Owen Coyle - makes his first signing in the January transfer window
Williams, who can play anywhere along the back line as well as in a midfield holding role, is from Perth in Australia but has been with Middlesbrough since the age of fifteen. He served his apprenticeship in their academy before signing his first full time contract in the summer of 2007, a two year deal.

When Luke Young was sold to Aston Villa there were high hopes that Williams would step up to the first team but to date he's played in just one game, coming on for Emanuel Pogatetz in a Carling Cup win over Yeovil in August.

He's been out for a spell this season with a lateral ligament injury but is back in action and continued his return to full fitness with an appearance in the reserves a week last Tuesday against Liverpool.

Rhys was born in Australia but his father was born in Kent and his mother in India. That meant he was available to play for any of England, India or Australia at international level. However, he chose to play for Wales and has currently won eight Under-21 caps.

He was also called up for the full squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Russia but was then moved back to the Under-21 team for a crucial play off game against Romania. He scored in the Welsh victory, but it was in this game he suffered his lateral ligament injury.

Williams has just today signed a new deal with Middlesbrough that will keep him at the Riverside until the end of the 2010/11 season but he'll now be with Burnley for the remainder of the season and becomes our first signing since the capture of Steven Thompson from Cardiff back in September.