Menu allblacks.com

News

Hansen : SBW could be back

Getty Images

Sportal.co.nz     06 Aug 2012     Getty Images

Williams was named as a two-Test injury replacement for centre Conrad Smith, pending negotiations, when the All Blacks Investec Rugby Championship squad was named in Auckland on Sunday.

Hansen said he hoped the public would accept Williams' answering the call to return for two Tests after the loss of Conrad Smith to a detached retina.

"He's a guy who really cherishes his time in the All Blacks jersey.

"He's different when you see him as a sports person, he's done things that are different and sometimes in New Zealand we don't like people who are a little different.

"It doesn't mean to say he doesn't care about his country and from our point of view we know he does and when I spoke to him about the opportunity he couldn't answer quick enough with a yes. He'd love to.

"He loves challenges. He hasn't played against Australia, his form even last night [in the Super Rugby final] he was dangerous every time he carried the ball, defensively he was outstanding. He's a world-class player now," he said.

Hansen added the media would have been dealing out six lashes to the selectors if he hadn't been picked when available.

"The New Zealand public are pretty good at recognising someone who is going a job and he's done that.

"One or two of the people are a bit anti and think he might be chasing money but he's a professional sportsperson. You only get a very short term in your playing career to make money. Doctors are doctors from the time they graduate until the time they die," he said.

"He's entitled to do what he's doing. It's not his fault that he's pretty good at boxing and people want to watch him do that. It's not his fault he's good at league and it's not his fault that people want to put a contract in front of him.

"I'll be confident to say that I don't think it will be the last time he'll play for the All Blacks either. I think he'll come back. He's really enjoyed his time playing rugby. I think he's really enjoyed the Chiefs – that environment up there has been great for him. There's just things he's doing with his life and we are supportive of that," he said.