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View Full Version : All Black Williams makes low-key return



TRF_Cymro
04-01-11, 12:43 PM
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New Zealand international Ali Williams launched his bid to reclaim his All Blacks shirt on Saturday with his first appearance for RFU Championship side Nottingham.

The 29-year-old, who won the last of his 61 Test caps against England at Twickenham in 2008, is battling back to match fitness following a third operation on his right Achilles and is hoping to use a four-game stint with Nottingham as the springboard for a return to international honours.

Williams was sidelined last year after suffering his latest injury setback just three minutes into his comeback game with the Auckland-based Blues in January. But the Kiwi has his eyes on a return to the Super Rugby stage and then a possible All Blacks recall in time for the World Cup.

"It's been a very frustrating two years so it was fantastic just running around knowing that the leg will hold up, I've now got to build it up slowly," he told the Daily Telegraph after making a 20-minute cameo in his side's 36-12 victory over Moseley.

"It's so much fun. It's like being at home. Club rugby is where rugby starts and where it finishes. This is the heart and soul of it. I'm still hustling for room in the changing room and trying to get the last bit of tape from the physio. I'm just one of the boys to be honest.

"I was nervous as hell before the game, but after that good as gold," he said. "There was some mental baggage no doubt, but this game cleared a lot of it. I've got through the week and now I start again."

Williams aims to play 40 minutes against Bristol at Meadow Lane next Sunday, building up to a full match before he returns to New Zealand at the end of the month.

"I want to get my All Blacks place back but it's small steps. The aim is to play 40 minutes next week and then build up to 60 then 80 minutes," he said. "I've got to do the small things first. It's going to be really hard to get my place back. We all saw how they did last year. This year it won't be any easier.

"There's a really good carrot at the end of it. At the end of the day it's not about me getting my jersey back it's about the All Blacks doing their job and getting the results that we all want as a country. But playing in the World Cup means everything. That's why I have persevered doing the small things. That's all I want in my life at the moment."

http://www.espnscrum.com/englandclub/rugby/story/131903.html

MichaelBoard
04-01-11, 12:59 PM
Shame he suffered so many injuries, what a brilliant player he was/probably still is and can be and I think had he not been so unlucky with injuries he would still be first choice for the All Blacks in the second row.

TRF_nickdnz
05-01-11, 12:27 AM
Yeah, read this earlier. I'm not sure if he'll be able to recover in time to make the AB squad, but he really was a brilliant lock, and providing he finds some form, Thorn, Williams, Whitelock and Jack would all be my choice of locks in the RWC.

TRF_Cymro
05-01-11, 12:32 AM
Was Jack injured during the AI's?

TRF_nickdnz
05-01-11, 01:03 AM
Was Jack injured during the AI's?

He wasn't selected, but he was avalible. In my opinion, he'd have been better than Boric.

It was his first season of any rugby back in New Zealand though, and out of all the teams to captain, Tasman is not really a team that makes anyone look brilliant. Still, he was in my opinion their stand out player. He'll need to have a very good S14 to be noticed, and with Thorn and Whitelock both playing for the Crusaders, he'll be hard pressed for game time. If the Canes or Chiefs had a brain cell between them, they would have signed Chris Jack instantly, as he'll be wanting the game time desperately. However Whitelock and Thorn will be rested going into the Tri Nations and RWC, so I guess that'll be Jack's time to impress.

Shaggy
05-01-11, 08:02 AM
He wasn't selected, but he was avalible. In my opinion, he'd have been better than Boric.

It was his first season of any rugby back in New Zealand though, and out of all the teams to captain, Tasman is not really a team that makes anyone look brilliant. Still, he was in my opinion their stand out player. He'll need to have a very good S14 to be noticed, and with Thorn and Whitelock both playing for the Crusaders, he'll be hard pressed for game time. If the Canes or Chiefs had a brain cell between them, they would have signed Chris Jack instantly, as he'll be wanting the game time desperately. However Whitelock and Thorn will be rested going into the Tri Nations and RWC, so I guess that'll be Jack's time to impress.

i think Jack will get his share of game time for the Crusaders given that Graham Henry wants the AB players to miss some Super games, and the Crusaders have tended to play most of their squad in previous years

... being a Crusaders and Tasman Makos supporter, I wouldn't mind seeing Chris Jack back in the ABs, but I think that he has Thorn, Whitelock, Donnelly, Boric, and Williams all ahead of him, plus the likes of Jason Eaton and maybe Isaac Ross (unlikely) competing as well

my conclusion is that Ali Williams is more likely to make it than Chris Jack

TRF_Olyy
25-01-11, 08:28 PM
Nottingham just smashed Rotherham 37 - 8 in Ali Williams last match for them

Conal
25-01-11, 09:11 PM
he played well to i thought

FlukeArtist
25-01-11, 09:39 PM
Sadly, I think Jack is finished as an International player.
He was invisible in most of the Tasman games I watched.

Boric was in very good form on the AIs. I would take him over Jack anyday

TRF_nickdnz
26-01-11, 01:00 AM
Sadly, I think Jack is finished as an International player.
He was invisible in most of the Tasman games I watched.

Boric was in very good form on the AIs. I would take him over Jack anyday

I disagree, I thought he was very good for Tasman. Him and Ben Franks were the only forwards who played at all, that make the Tasman pack not look terrible.

Woldog
26-01-11, 01:04 AM
Chris Jack is amazing on the wing in my Rugby 08, he drops the ball alot, but scores heaps of tries :P.

Comical Ali and Chris Jack are both good options imo.