View Full Version : Ali Williams signs for Nottingham

26-11-10, 01:59 AM
Comeback All Black Ali Williams will spend a month with Nottingham in England as he launches a rugby return that he hopes will culminate in next year's World Cup.
Williams, who is working his way back from a second major Achilles tendon injury in the last two years, has been released by the NZRU for a special month-long stint in England to aid his rugby rehabilitation.
It was confirmed today that he would play for Nottingham in English rugby's Championship (second division) for up to four matches beginning at the end of December.
He will then return after that to join the Blues team in the leadup to the new Super Rugby season.
"I'm excited to return to play and very grateful that Nottingham have given me this chance," said the 29-year-old who has played 61 tests for the All Balcks, but none over the last two seasons.
"I want to get game time, get rugby, and see if it works. I know in my head it's going to work, it's the power of positive thinking," he told media in Nottingham.
"I can't wait to put my boots on and hit the paddock."
Williams heads to England with the blessing of both his All Blacks and Blues coaches.
It's felt after so long out of the game that he needs to ease his way back into rugby, and a series of appearances for Nottingham shape as an ideal way to do that.
Williams reinjured his achilles tendon last January in the Super 14's pre-season, and never played again after requiring another bout of surgery.
So for 2011 it was felt the big lock needed to get some match play under his belt before stretching out on the hard grounds of the New Zealand summer.
He is considered a vital component, not only in Pat Lam's Blues squad, but also the All Blacks. His last match in the black jersey was the 32-6 victory over England at Twickenham on the 2008 tour.
The Aucklander spent time with the All Blacks during the first week of their Grand Slam tour, where he had his Achilles assessed by the medical staff. He also visited the adidas base in Germany where he received specially designed boots that it's hoped will lessen the chance of reinjury.
"He needed to make sure the footwear he is going to wear playing the game and his training gear is 100 per cent. It is was pretty critical," All Blacks coach Graham Henry told media in the UK.
"We're delighted with where he's at but he needs that confidence to push to the next level
"Ali is pleased with where he's at, but as you can appreciate with a guy who's done his Achilles twice, there will be a bit of apprehension there."
The East Midlands club currently lies sixth in the Championship, and are hoping Williams' arrival can provider some impetus for a promotion push.
Nottingham director of rugby Glenn Delaney said: "We are delighted to help Ali get back to playing after serious injury.
"Having a player of his calibre and experience at the club will be a huge benefit to the players and I'm sure the supporters will be excited to have a world-class player in their team."
Nottingham's Kiwi contingent includes Delaney, assistant coach Ben Herring, captain Craig Hammond and the Championship's leading point scorer James Arlidge - a former Aucklander.


Teh Mite
26-11-10, 08:12 AM
He may well find he enjoys it there, Nottingham like to shift the ball about. Their pack's a bit lightweight though (compared to other ND1 sides), he could soon find it miserable being pushed backwards constantly.

26-11-10, 09:12 AM
Didn't see that coming!
Might have to head over to the Moseley match on new years day (if he's playing)

26-11-10, 10:05 AM
Would he be better maybe at Exeter as a replacement for Kimlin.
Higher level and better intensity.

Teh Mite
26-11-10, 12:01 PM
I imagine the idea is to ease himself back in. Plus I'd be surprised if a top flight club would welcome anyone for only a month.

26-11-10, 12:05 PM
Good move all-round.

Eases himself back in and Nottingham might get some more bums on seats.

26-11-10, 05:59 PM
I hope he stays injury free.

26-11-10, 09:24 PM
Arlidge, the Japan fly-half?

26-11-10, 10:37 PM
Arlidge, the Japan fly-half?

Ye he's with Nottingham!

Teh Mite
16-12-10, 12:31 PM
Nottingham captain: "THE BLOODY OBVIOUS!"

Craig Hammond delight at Nottingham's Ali Williams deal

http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/50162000/jpg/_50162747_williams226_getty.jpg Williams has won 61 caps for the All Blacks

Nottingham captain Craig Hammond says the short-term signing of All Blacks forward Ali Williams is wonderful news.
Williams, 29, will be linking up with the Championship side in January as he looks to build his fitness following an injury-ravaged two years.
Hammond said: "Ali's a world-class player. Everyone involved with the club is incredibly excited.
"All the guys are looking forward to training alongside him and playing with him when he wears the Green and White."
The Auckland and Blues forward has been released by the New Zealand Rugby Union to play up to four matches for Nottingham director of rugby Glenn Delaney's men.
Williams, who has been plagued by Achilles tendon problems, is scheduled to join his fellow Kiwis Hammond and Delaney in the East Midlands at the end of December.
Hammond added: "It's also great for the fans of Nottingham to have Ali here, January will be a crucial month for us to pick up results and he will be a very big boost."

16-12-10, 12:37 PM
Something Special .... 'oh no wait'

16-12-10, 02:50 PM
Very special player. IMO the only one to consistantly challenge Matfield in recent years (well, somewhat recent).

R100 says he gets an injury in the first 2 games. Any takers?

16-12-10, 04:48 PM
I don't hope so. The Blues really could use him