New Zealand All Blacks Rugby News

Williams to stay in NZ for two years

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New Zealand officials and supporters breathed a huge sigh of relief on Friday with the news that All Black lock Ali Williams signed a new two-year contract with the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU).

The 26-year-old Williams will offer some stability to the All Black squad, which is likely to lose the services of up to 15 players at the end of the World Cup in what has been described by the media as a ‘flood’ rather than an ‘exodus’ of players to greener pastures.

The veteran lock of 42 tests is highly regarded as a player despite his disciplinary problems at the Auckland Blues, which sparked a likely move to the Crusaders for next year’s Super 14.

Many believe he is an asset to All Black rugby.

“Ali is a world-class player, and his decision to continue his career here is fantastic news for New Zealand and New Zealand rugby,” said All Blacks coach Graham Henry.

“He has proven his ability at all levels of the game from provincial rugby to the test arena and I am sure that he will continue to make a valuable contribution to the teams that he plays for over the next couple of years,” added the All Black coach.

NZRU deputy chief executive Steve Tew described Williams’ signing as “positive and encouraging”. The union has repeatedly expressed concern about the loss of top players to big-spending clubs in Britain, France and Japan.

 

365 Digital

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