All Blacks turn to Williams

Cross-code convert handed his debut

Last updated: 4th November 2010  

All Blacks turn to Williams

Williams: Debut

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Cross-code convert Sonny Bill Williams will make his All Blacks debut against England on Saturday.

The 25-year-old has been named in the centres for the Twickenham Test - and will go up against his former New Zealand rugby league team-mate Shontayne Hape.

Williams, who now plays for Canterbury and the Crusaders after moving from Toulon, replaces Conrad Smith in one of four changes from the side that lost 26-24 to Australia.

Alby Mathewson will make his start debut at scrum-half, with Samuel Whitelock and Hosea Gear also coming into the side.

Jimmy Cowan, Tom Donnelly and the injured Cory Jane all make way.

On the bench, Ben Franks, Anthony Boric, Liam Messam and Andy Ellis have all been called up.

And coach Graham Henry is keen for his side to get back to winning ways after the Wallabies ended their 15-match unbeaten streak.

"There is a resolve in the team to put in an improved performance this weekend and the team has worked hard on that this week," he said on allblacks.com.

"There is excitement in the camp as well, with the All Blacks playing England at Twickenham for the Hillary Shield always a marvellous occasion."

New Zealand: 15 M Muliaina, 14 J Rokocoko, 13 SB Williams, 12 M Nonu, 11 H Gear, 10 D Carter, 9 A Mathewson, 1 T Woodcock, 2 K Mealamu, 3 O Franks, 4 B Thorn, 5 S Whitelock, 6 J Kaino, 7 R McCaw (capt), 8 K Read.
Replacements: 16 H Elliot, 17 B Franks, 18 A Boric, 19 L Messam, 20 A Ellis, 21 S Donald, 22 I Toeava.

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Comments (1)

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William Black says...

The different philosphies of the north/south should make for some fantastic matches over the next month , I reckon the south should win comfortably , with the closest and possibly best chance of a north win being wales v oz , boks may be vulnerable depending on who plays , but they have enough experience and talent to see them through , achilles heel may well be age of players , ABs should be unbeaten and will amass a shed load of points , aussies backline should score enough to win games with only wales possibly having the backs to meet them head on .either way what a great autumns set of matches

Posted 15:01 4th November 2010

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