Deans rates SBW-Carter combo - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Deans rates SBW-Carter combo

Adrian Warren 27/05/2011 07:26:13 PM Comments (0)

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans says Sonny Bill Williams' blossoming partnership with Crusaders' teammate Dan Carter could be the factor that lands the former rugby league star a starting spot in the All Blacks World Cup side later this year.

Williams made his Test rugby debut for New Zealand late last year, before even playing a Super Rugby fixture.

The former Bulldogs NRL star has yet to establish himself as a regular All Blacks starter, Deans said playing regularly alongside Test five-eighth Carter was giving Williams the best possible opportunity to press his claim.

"The fact that they have got a good combination, not only in terms of his (Williams) acceleration within the game as an individual but from a selection perspective, it could be a tipping point," Deans said on Friday.

"He (Williams) has done very well as a player and he's also got the benefit of that combination."

Williams, who looms as a threat to Queensland in Sunday's blockbuster at Suncorp Stadium, has already impressed against other Australian teams, including the Brumbies and Waratahs.

Deans said he had watched all of Williams' Super Rugby performances so far and wouldn't rule out talking to rugby league coaches about the best way to stop the mobile big man, who has opened up numerous defences with his famed offloading skills.

"There's no doubt given the right platform he will take some containing," Deans said of Williams.

All Blacks coach Graham Henry said Williams, who has played four Tests, was becoming an influential player and possessed marvellous skills.

"He's a very humble guy, very modest," Henry said at a rugby lunch in Sydney on Friday.

"When he first started playing rugby for the All Blacks he didn't express himself a great deal, he played in the team and did his job.

"He's always had the skills, (now) he's prepared to show them and so he's developing in to a pretty influential player.

"I think it's our job as All Black coaches, just to make sure we increase the polish, but he's got marvellous skills."

Henry was philosophical about Williams' contract allowing him to engage in professional boxing bouts.

"I'm not that influential, I'm just the little guy trying to coach the All Blacks," Henry said to the audience's great amusement.

"But he wouldn't be in New Zealand unless he could (box), because that gave him the money to fill the contractual necessities to get him there.

"He can play rugby for bugger all quite frankly, but the boxing makes up the contract."

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