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Thread: Wallabies are prepared for Sonny Bill Williams debut for All Blacks in Hong Kong Bled

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    travelling_gerry's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
    Perth, Western Australia, Australia

    Wallabies are prepared for Sonny Bill Williams debut for All Blacks in Hong Kong Bled

    Wallabies are prepared for Sonny Bill Williams debut for All Blacks in Hong Kong Bledisloe

    • By David Beniuk
    • From AAP
    • October 27, 2010 7:38PM

    Debut possible ... The Wallabies are preparing for Sonny Bill Williams. Source: Vincent Yu / AP

    The Wallabies won't be surprised if former league superstar Sonny Bill Williams gets an early tour hit-out for the All Blacks on Saturday, and they won't be disappointed either.

    Australia and New Zealand will name their teams for the Hong Kong Stadium Bledisloe Cup dead rubber on Thursday, when most of the attention will be on whether Williams secures a bench spot for a possible All Blacks debut.
    With Graham Henry's men already holding a 3-0 advantage in this year's four-Test series, the Wallabies believe Williams could be given a chance to stamp his credentials for the UK and Ireland leg of the tour.
    "They've got a tough tour with a grand slam so, if they need to get him onto the field and see what he's like, they're going to have to do it sooner rather than later," Wallabies assistant Jim Williams said.
    "It would be great for the game to see him out there.
    "Obviously he's dying to get a run and it's just a matter of timing about when they bring him in."
    The 25-year-old's good form at provincial level in New Zealand has catapulted him into the All Blacks squad and the Wallabies have no doubt his Test debut is inevitable.

    His signature offloads have the potential to wreak havoc on opposition defences.
    "Looking at his pass there, he's certainly an option, that's for sure," Jim Williams said.
    "You can't ignore him, it's just a matter of timing."
    The decision on the former NRL star, who walked out on the Canterbury-Bankstown in 2008 to switch codes with French club Toulon, is likely to overshadow Wallabies boss Robbie Deans' announcement of the side he hopes can end a 10-Test losing streak to New Zealand.
    Deans and co-selectors Williams and David Nucifora appear likely to stick tight with the side that ended the 47-year drought on the South African highveld last month.
    Injured tighthead Ben Alexander should return from outside that 22, meaning a decision between Salesi Ma'afu and James Slipper for the bench.
    Hooker Saia Fainga'a is also available again after missing the final Tri-Nations match through suspension, while winger Drew Mitchell looks set to regain his place after recovering from a hamstring injury.
    The Wallabies say it is the mental side of their game they have focused on as they attempt to end their poor run against the All Blacks, and a recent habit of letting leads slip.
    "We've been training scenarios ... that we've needed to perform under and probably didn't throughout the Tri-Nations to the extent that we were happy with," lock Dean Mumm said.
    "We've learnt a lot, hopefully, about how to capitalise on those significant moments in a game but I guess how successfully we've done that is yet to be told in a significant environment."

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  2. #2
    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    He missed selection (ABC News 24). No surprise there. They will pretty keen to extend their record against Australia and would not experiment. No doubt they see the HK test as the only real stumbling block to overhauling Lithuania's record. Let's hope they trip over it.

    Anyone else reckon it's time for a rethink on Rugby records? Maybe amateur rankings/records should not be mixed with the full time pros' in the modern era. On the positive side; it does knock the ABs down a peg, even if temporarily. That's gotta be good.

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    "The main difference between playing League and Union is that now I get my hangovers on Monday instead of Sunday - Tom David

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