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Nonu trumps SBW - New Zealand head coach Graham Henry has confirmed that Ma’a Nonu is his first-choice inside centre.
Nonu has been selected ahead of Williams for the Blacks’ major Tri-Nations fixtures and will be the incumbent at the World Cup. Williams failed to make the bench for Saturday’s Tests against Australia, Henry citing his lack of versatility as the main factor for this.
‘Sonny Bill’s challenge is, I think, he’s competing against the best number 12 in the world and that’s great,’ Henry told reporters. ‘He’ll get his opportunity, [but] can he be better than the best number 12 in the world?
‘Quite frankly, it’s a different experience for Sonny Bill. He’s always been, and rightly so, the top person in that position in the teams he’s played in whether it be rugby league or rugby union. Now he’s in a situation in the All Blacks where there’s high competition for places and he’s not guaranteed a run-on spot. So when he gets the opportunity, he needs to nail it.’