Ali Williams to line up for Auckland

Getty Images     06 Oct 2012     Getty Images

The 75-test All Black lock’s last game in the blue and white hoops was back in 2007, and he can’t wait to return to the fold following another lengthy spell on the sidelines.

“The knee feels good,” Williams said.

“I’m aiming to play at least 40 minutes, I’m not sure how the lungs are going to hold up but it’ll be good to get out there.

“2007 is a long time ago but I’ve come back here, I’ve got a coach that initially picked me from club rugby 11 or 12 years ago and it’s a refreshing environment to be in. These young guys are having so much fun yet when they’re asked to flick the switch they flick it so I think that’s a sign of a good system that’s working.”

Williams admitted his latest injury was the hardest to overcome, but now he’s back he is still passionate about reclaiming his spot in the All Blacks.

“To be honest with you this has been the hardest one. Right at the start I thought this could be it but you get the opportunity to come back and play with young tearaways and you sort of want to keep living the dream, so while it’s hard to start with once you’re on your feet and walking around and back running it makes it easier.”