Wallabies on Sonny Bill alert
James Mortimer 09 Aug 2012 Getty Images
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said that essentially William would play, as he was the form second five-eighth in Super Rugby this season.
"It's obvious that we're interested in using Sonny for a couple of weeks while he is still contracted to New Zealand, particularly as Panasonic are going to come to the party and support us," Hansen said.
"We'd be foolish not to use him. He's in outstanding form."
While All Blacks who announce their intentions to move overseas are usually not considered for selection, injuries to Conrad Smith and Richard Kahui has seen the World Champions usually plentiful midfield stocks take a hit.
Former Munster coach and new Wallabies senior assistant/coaching co-ordinator Tony McGahan said he plan for Sonny Bill despite changes to the plans.
"We just have to wait and see, because they were ruling him out on Sunday. On Monday he was back in, and then today he could be ruled out again," McGahan said.
"From the All Blacks perspective they are very keen to play him, and they'll do everything they can to get him out on the field, because he has had a wonderful season. 'He does provide some really strong points of difference which will provide opportunities for them, but also provide opportunities for us.'"
McGahan and Wallabies coach Robbie Deans have centre dilemmas of their own, with arguably their most reliable defensive midfielder in Pat McCabe missing, while James O’Connor, considered an option for the 10 or 12 jersey, will miss the first few weeks of The Rugby Championship.
The former Munster but Queensland born coach expected Sonny Bill to be the point of the All Blacks attack, and said that much of his team’s play revolves around the big back.
"He's (SBW) a real focal point of all the back lines he has been involved with, and certainly been a positive influence on the side he has played with this year," he said.
"We've been looking at that, and coming up with a plan to counter it."
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