4 Dec, 10:19
Grand Slam winners Fiona Coghlan and Nora Stapelton have returned the Women's RBS 6 Nations trophy to Chief Executive John Feehan at the Six Nations offices in Dublin.
The former Ireland A coach continued his charm offensive yesterday as he talked up the visitors' chances, despite the injury doubts surrounding star centres Brian O'Driscoll and Gordon D'Arcy.
"No matter who the Irish have in their line-up, they will be a top class combination and we will prepare for all the options," admitted Williams - who has named an unchanged side for tomorrow's Murrayfield meeting.
"They are obviously a side that Willie Anderson, my assistant, and I know very well from our time working and living in Ireland.
"They are very talented throughout their squad, but particularly in the back-division where they have such strength in depth. As a team, they are powerful - and as individuals, they have a great deal of flair.
"Shane Horgan and Kevin Maggs are seasoned international players, the former especially, whom I rate one of the best in the game, having coached him at Leinster."
On current form, Horgan is amongst the best backs in Europe - leading the Heineken Cup scoring charts with seven tries, and bagging twelve in his first ten games for Leinster this season. The 26-year-old's performances in midfield, in the absence of D'Arcy last autumn, against South Africa and Argentina also caught the eye.
Scotland full-back Chris Paterson - who kicked three penalties in their agonising 16-9 loss to champions France last Saturday - has also hailed Eddie O'Sullivan's outfit as "world class".
"Individual players have to be given a platform from their team-mates," said the former skipper.
"The attention is always going to be on Brian O'Driscoll and Gordon D'Arcy - and they are wonderful players.
"But the Ireland team are also strong and hard-working from front to back and have five big ball-carriers in the back row. They are also very strong at half-back.
"Their individual players are capable of doing anything and something special, but they are very well-balanced side too," added the 26-year-old Edinburgh kicker.
"I thoroughly enjoy the way Ireland play. They have been pretty exciting in the last two or three seasons and they are one of the best teams in the world at this minute.
"They have got power and are well-organised, and it's going to be another tough game without a shadow of a doubt."