Cardiff Blues juggernaut No.8 Nick Williams admits he feels it’s sometimes best to lie to his family about the state of his body after rugby matches.
In a disarmingly candid interview, the 34-year-old also admitted that, on occasions, the game can ‘scare’ him.
Williams went on to pay tribute to former Blues, Wales and British and Irish Lions skipper Sam Warburton for calling time on his career.
Warburton rocked the rugby world last month when he announced his retirement from the sport with immediate effect.
He took a year out of the game in order to fix a number of niggling injuries but found that his body was unable to perform the way it used to when he returned to training.
Williams says his former team-mate set a fine example in putting his family first.
“Sometimes you get a bit scared, when you get a few head knocks with your wife and kids watching,” Williams told Cardiff Blues TV.
“You go home and it’s probably best to tell them a lie, say I’m fresh as a daisy.
“I think a good example is probably Warby. There are bigger things than rugby and family is the biggest.
“I applaud him for taking that into account with his decision because you have to remember that rugby is only a job.”
He added: “This game has evolved and I think it’s had to because the boys are getting bigger.
“The collisions are getting bigger too and the boys are getting faster.”
The 130kg back-rower is entering ’15th or 16th’ year in rugby and says that his body is hanging on and says he’s had permission from his wife to continue playing.
After all those years, you’d be forgiven for wondering what drives him to continue, given the way he talks about how the collisions are getting more ferocious.
He revealed it’s his family that inspires him, insisting that rugby is the easy part and being a dad ‘is the real job’.
“My biggest motivation is my family – my wife and my three daughters.
“The amount of sacrifices they’ve had to make for me to be over in this part of the world – it’s been a huge blessing. my wife especially.
“I’ve been up here for 12 years so for her to sacrifice her career so I can live mine is a big blessing.
“Rugby’s the easy part. You go back home and daddy is the real job.
“No matter how sore you are on Saturday after the game, you still have to go home and play ride the pony with them.
“But all in all, it’s worth it.”