Sport Rugby

Saturday 17 March 2018

Williams to take on reds

THE All Blacks' quest for World domination next autumn knows no bounds, as Munster's British and Irish Cup side will discover on Friday, writes Donnchadh Boyle.

New Zealand lock Ali Williams is on the books of Championship side Nottingham for the month of January as he continues his comeback from an Achilles injury that has kept him out of competitive action for two years.

Williams intends to return to Super 15 rugby with the Auckland Blues in February and faces a huge challenge to make Graham Henry's World Cup squad, where the likes of Brad Thorn, Sam Whitelock and Anthony Boric have been performing well in the second row.

The 29-year-old has not played for the All Blacks since their visit to Twickenham in November 2008 and managed only a few minutes for his franchise in a pre-season game last year before suffering a recurrence of the injury.

"There's a really good carrot at the end of it," Williams said. "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."

Williams played a half at Meadow Lane -- the home of Notts County -- last weekend, in their come-from-behind win over Bristol and is expected to play an hour against Munster this weekend.

Reds coach Anthony Foley named Billy Holland and Ian Nagle in the second row last time out in this competition and, if selected, they are sure to relish a shot at the All Blacks legend.

Irish Independent

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