Tuesday, February 02, 2010

All Blacks captain tips Ali Williams to return

James Mortimer - (3/02/2010)

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw is tipping his former flatmate and lock Williams to make it back from a second Achilles injury.

Williams has already had surgery on the tendon and will be sidelined for at least six months. Those close to the Blues and All Blacks lock have said he is devastated, and will have played no first class rugby in well over a year by the time he returns to the field.McCaw, who has spoken to Williams, said it is a massive blow for him and the team.

"I've spoken to him. You've got to feel for the guy. He wears his heart on his sleeve and he put a lot into getting himself ready to play for this season."

Still, the All Blacks captain knows that the lock will make a comeback, being an integral part of the New Zealand rugby set up. In recent years the All Blacks have struggled with depth in the second row, and Williams, who played more minutes in 2008 than any other New Zealand player, has been missed by all and sundry.But McCaw said Williams still had the will to play.

"He's still got that desire to keep playing and play for the All Blacks and the Blues. And I just hope that everything goes well over the next six months or so, so he can be. He's a big part of New Zealand rugby at the moment that we're perhaps missing."

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