All Blacks will stand by Nonu

Wed, 25 Sep 2013 06:47
Large ma a nonu b w Large ali williams looks up Large ma a nonu all blacks pass Large bakkies botha bowed Large ma a nonu anthems Large ali williams hands stretche

Ali Williams believes controversial New Zealand teammate Ma'a Nonu could still play for the All Blacks, even if he plays in France.

New Toulon signing Ali Williams believes controversial New Zealand teammate Ma'a Nonu could still turn out for the All Blacks, even if he comes to France to play club rugby.

New Zealanders are contracted to their national federation and can only turn out for the All Blacks if plying their trade in their homeland.

Yet lock Williams, who was yellow-carded for stamping in his Top 14 debut last Saturday as Toulon edged past Bayonne 18-12, said Nonu could be an exception to the rule.

"He just wants to play [and] experience something. If he plays [in France] that's good; it's always good to experience something new. He's a good player," Williams told AFP.

"He'll definitely play for New Zealand, he's too good [not to].

"It's his decision, not mine. I know how much he loves playing in the All Black jersey."

Nonu - who is unwanted by franchises in his own country in a year that has seen him being carded five times for a series of callous foul play incidents - has been linked with a move to last season's beaten European Cup finalists Clermont once the Rugby Championship ends next month, although no official announcement has been made.

Williams, meanwhile, said he enjoyed being on the same side as South African Bakkies Botha for a change, having locked horns with the giant former Springbok on numerous occasions for club and country.

"He's different, he's good different. He's bigger [than Williams], he's a big man, he's strong. I'm not as big or as strong, so my game's slightly different from his.

"His physicality is definitely his strength, how strong he is, around the ruck and maul how effective he is.

"He's very good in the scrum, a powerful player. [My strength] is more line-outs, I worry about the line-out [and] get that working.

"It's good fun, I don't know where the duo would sit in the world standards, were both not playing international rugby any more.

"We're just having fun, it's a great honour to play next to him because I've played against him for so long."

Williams and Botha actually made their international debuts on the same day, November 9, 2002 - Williams in a narrow defeat to England, Botha in a crushing loss in France.

They faced each other eight times for their countries.

Asked how he would remember his encounters with the 2.02m, 124kg Botha, Williams replied: "A sore rib, neck, and shoulders!"

AFP

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 27 May 2016
Hurricanes v Highlanders 07h35 Wellington
Waratahs v Chiefs 09h40 Sydney
Boland v Eagles 13h00 Wellington
Free State Cheetahs v Pumas 13h00 Bloemfontein
Kings v Jaguares 17h00 Ascoli Piceno
Border v Falcons 17h00 East London
Sat, 28 May 2016
Blues v Crusaders 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Sunwolves 09h40 Canberra
Western Province v Griquas 10h15 Newlands
Blue Bulls v Leopards 12h15 Loftus Versfeld
Stormers v Cheetahs 13h00 DHL Newlands
Namibia v Griffons 13h00 Windhoek
Golden Lions v EP Kings 13h00 Johannesburg
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs 14h00 London
Bulls v Lions 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
Leinster v Connacht 16h30 Edinburgh
Sun, 29 May 2016
Rebels v Force 06h05 Melbourne
England v Wales 14h00 London
TOP 14
MORE LOGS