I've got the best years of rugby ahead of me
Like fine wine, veteran All Black lock Ali Williams believes he will only get better with age.
The 31-year-old is set to return to the pitch for Auckland in next weekend's ITM Cup clash against North Harbour and says he feels rejuvenated after a three-month injury-enforced lay-off.
"90% of people out there think I'm probably lying here, but I think I've got the best years of rugby ahead of me," Williams said.
The 75-Test stalwart boasts more experience than Sam Whitelock (32), Luke Romano (five) and Brodie Retallick (seven) - the three current locks in the All Black squad - combined and believes he can play at the highest level for years to come if he manages his body carefully.
"I think the reality is I've got to look after it (body) a lot more.
"I'd love to go for another two to three years," he said.