Friday, February 18, 2011

Williams looks to prove fitness

New Zealand lock Ali Williams is hopeful of working his way back to full fitness ahead of the Rugby World Cup later this year. The 29-year-old underwent Achilles tendon and shoulder operations in 2009 before rupturing a different area of his tendon as he prepared to make his comeback, but is now looking to wear his first Super15 Jersey in a tournament rebranded as Superugby, for two years.

His club side, the Blues, go up against the Crusaders in their opening game of the season, and Williams believes he is in good physical shape and ready to play a full part in the match. He said: Physically I'm exactly where I was."

"But in terms of game-related things and time on the field, it's pretty obvious I'm not where I was two years ago.

"You're not going to see a miracle out there, you're not going to see a world beater out there, But you are going to see someone that wants to be out there and loves playing rugby.

Williams had a brief spell with the Championship side Nottingham as he looked to work his way back into the game after a prolonged period on the sidelines, playing four games for the club. Now back fully fit, Williams is hopeful of working his way back into New Zealand head coach Graham Henry’s squad for the World Cup, held in New Zealand, later this year.

His club side are looking to win their first Championship since 2003, and have missed the end of season play-off’s for the previous two years. Williams, who has won 61 caps for the all-blacks will be key to chance they have of success this year if he can make it through the competition.

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