LONDON – New Zealand plan to remain patient with Sonny Bill Williams despite having a midfield quartet “jumping out of their skin” ahead of Saturday’s clash against England at Twickenham.
Williams who has had 50th All Blacks for the world champions, played his half century cap against Australia, they won 37-20 in Yokohama last month.
The 33 year old centre did not feature in last week rout against Japan in Tokyo, “Sonny’s had the least rugby, he’s still finding his top form; I think that’s fair to say,” New Zealand assistant coach Ian Foster said Wednesday.
“I don’t think our patience (with Williams) will be driven by his background, more based on how we see players perform in training.
“I think when we look at the physical nature of the game, how they are training, sometimes things are going really good off the park and it hasn’t quite gelled to the extent they want on the park.
“Sometimes players are deemed to have had a quiet game, but in reality they may not have had too many opportunities to show what they are good at,” Foster added.
New Zealand will face Ireland in Dublin on November 18, then the Italian on November 25, “We’ve got a whole lot of players who have had injuries this year, significant injuries over time, and they’ve come back and at various degrees of accuracy in their game,” said Foster.
“But also some of them have taken a little longer to get their feet right.
“All our midfielders right now are actually jumping out of their skin, to be honest.
“In the last two weeks, the energy levels and work rate is as good as it’s been all year in that group.”
Photo credit- Irish Independent