All Blacks coach Steve Hansen is hoping midfielder Sonny Bill Williams can impact the game positively from the bench against the Springboks on Saturday.
Williams was named as one of three backline replacements in the match-day 23 to face the Boks in the Pool B opener in Yokohama.
Ryan Crotty and Anton-Lienert Brown were the preferred midfield combination, with the former having made a successful comeback from a thumb injury in the final warm-up against Tonga.
‘We felt Sonny Bill would come off the bench,’ Hansen said. ‘He will give us something different. As we all know, he has a different skill set than most. Being able to bring him into the game at different points is worthwhile for us. He created opportunities in the last World Cup, we all saw what he did there.
‘Ryan’s come back and played really well,’ Hansen added. ‘He is a leader in the group, he has got a kicking game, he talks well and has a good skill set. Anton Lienert-Brown has been the form midfielder.’
— SA Rugby magazine (@SARugbymag) September 19, 2019
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