Sonny Bill Williams says he is happy to have come through his first outing in Auckland club rugby unscathed ahead of the announcement of the All Blacks’ squad for the Rugby Championship.
Williams played 54 minutes for Ponsonby in their 25-22 victory over Grammar TEC in Auckland’s top-tier club rugby competition on Friday. The 33-year-old was looking to enhance his chances for a World Cup spot after an injury-ridden 2019.
The Blues centre has been struggling with a knee injury, which he had to undergo surgery for, limiting his involvement to just six of their 16 Vodacom Super Rugby fixtures this year.
‘It was good,’ Williams told Stuff.co.nz following his outing on Friday. ‘I was keen to just get out there and hit some bodies and play some footy. I wasn’t looking to try and set the world on fire. I was just trying to get some contacts and touch the ball as much as I could.’
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen will name an extended 41-man squad for the first two Rugby Championship fixtures on Tuesday. Williams, who could play one more fixture for Ponsonby, added that he hadn’t had any specific conversations with Hansen over his potential selection.
‘Touch wood the next couple of days I get named in that squad, and then we’ll just go from there. I know all I can do is be where my feet are and try get the match fitness up and if I’m called on be ready to go. I’ve just got to sit back and see what happens.’
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