RHYS WILLIAMS wants to help his family fulfil a World Cup dream, but only once he has celebrated a new long-term contract at club level by securing a Premier League return for Middlesbrough.

Williams is part of a football-driven family which has seen him and his two brothers become professionals in the English game, following the example set by his parents, who both played to a high standard.

After being introduced to the sport at an early age by his father, who represented England at youth level and QPR, and his mother, who played for Western Australia, perhaps it should come as no surprise that the three brothers are all making progress.

And the eldest Williams harbours hopes that they will become only the second set of three brothers to have represented their country at a World Cup.

The Palacios brothers - Jerry, Johny and Wilson - appeared for Honduras in South Africa two years ago.

Ryan and Aryn Williams are 18-year-old twins who play for Fulham and Burnley respectively, and Rhys thinks there is a chance they could all join up with one another on the international stage in the near future.

"Hopefully at the next World Cup, you never know," said Boro's versatile defender. "Maybe the one after if I am still going! I'm sure they will still be around and doing well.

"Everyone said it's normally just two brothers in the same team so it would be nice. I told them if they can match or better what I have done in my career then they will be quite successful."

While Rhys has already established himself in the Australia squad, there is also an outside chance that the brothers could end up facing each other at international level.

But the 23-year-old has urged Ryan and Aryn to stick with one country and go for it rather than follow in his footsteps, which led to him turning his back on Wales after representing them at youth level, and pledging his allegiance to Australia.

"Ryan has been called into the Australia Under-20s before and Aryn has been on the stand-by list but there is no rush," said Rhys, whose father is English. His mother is from Mumbai, his grandparents from Wales and the brothers were all born in Perth.

"Wales are looking at Aryn too and he's having a think about it. He likes the idea of the limelight of international football. It can be good for him, I know it helped me massively.

"We could play for Wales, India, England or Australia. But I don't want them to do what I did - play for Wales and then jump ship.

"I am not for that, I wish I hadn't done it. I don't regret moving to my home country but I felt bad for switching and I don't want them to do the same.

"I tell them just stick with one and go with it. At the time, playing for my home country was the best thing I have done but I felt bad about what I did to the people there."

Such an experience ran through his mind last month when he was in talks with Middlesbrough over signing a new contract.

Despite interest from the Premier League, where Bolton offered big money on deadline day, Williams decided to commit his long-term future to the club he has played for since the age of 16.

He said: "When Tony Mowbray said on deadline day that I wasn't going anywhere it meant a lot to me. Anything they turned down was good, it made me feel wanted.

"I speak to the gaffer and he's always said he wants me to stay, to build the team stronger and he wants me to be part of it.

"That made me think I don't need to leave yet. I am still young.

"If we aren't where we want to be in a couple of years, maybe I will think about it when I am advancing in my years. But right now I am happy with everything, especially being seen as a vital member of the squad.

"I didn't want to leave and be a bit part player. I'm not happy when it's like that. I need to play every week. I'm not a happy chappy if that doesn't happen."

And he thinks that being comfortable, settled and happy, should count for something - especially when he is at a club he feels can make a return to the top-flight sooner rather than later.

Williams said: "Moving up is financially better but that's not what I am about. Of course it's great to have some financial security but I am here to play football, it's what I love.

"Everyone knows what we can do as a team. Not even Barcelona can win every match, so we have to take the bad results with the good ones.

"We have signed the likes of Lukas Jutkiewicz and Adam Hammill and I think that shows the ambitions of the manager and the club. Hopefully we can go up this season."