Top 14
Williams: 'Hook would thrive in Japan'
ESPN Staff
April 22, 2014
James Hook is in danger of Top 14 relegation with Perpignan © Getty Images

James Hook would thrive on playing rugby in Japan if he decides to leave French strugglers Perpignan, according to Wales record try-scorer Shane Williams.

Hook has been linked with a move to the Far East if his Perpignan side are relegated from the Top 14 and Williams, now in his third season with Mitsubishi Dynaboars, believes his former international team-mate would benefit from the attacking brand of rugby played in Japan.

"The style of rugby in Japan would suit James down to the ground," Williams told WalesOnline. "It is very open, very expansive, and the No.10 runs the show.

"Whether the Japan thing would be for James and his family, only he will know. Would it be a good move? Well, I know he is very frustrated with Wales selection and maybe that would be one of the reasons he would decide to come out here."

Perpignan currently occupy the Top 14's second relegation spot and are locked on 50 points with fellow strugglers Oyonnax and Bayonne. But given the political problems between the Welsh Rugby Union and the regions, Hook's chances of a return to his native Wales look remote.

Williams also made clear Hook's frustration at continually missing out on selection for Warren Gatland's Wales side.

"In the last two years he has played superbly for Perpignan and is probably wondering what he has to do to get more than the odd 10 minutes here and there for Wales," said Williams.

"James will be eyeing his options. If Perpignan get relegated then he may have a look at Japan."

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