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Williams and Boric progressing well

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James Mortimer     09 Oct 2012     Getty Images

The 75-test lock has been out of action since suffering a knee injury against Ireland in the Steinlager Series, and his return was keenly watched by All Blacks selector Grant Fox, who was sighted in the stands with new Blues coach Sir John Kirwan.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has indicated that if Williams is fit he will travel to Europe, although the form of his current three second row forwards – in Sam Whitelock, Luke Romano and Brodie Retallick – means that the side is hardly wanting for classy tall timber.

However Williams experience is valued, and the way he got through his first match for Auckland since 2007 would have been noted before he was subbed after approximately 60 minutes.

With Auckland secured a semi-final in the ITM Cup Premiership, coach Wayne Pivac will likely have the services of the 31-year-old for another couple of matches.

While Anthony Boric is still some way from taking the field after neck surgery, the lock has been making solid progress and is eyeing off the beginning of the 2013 Investec Super Rugby season to make his playing return.