Wil­liams back for cru­cial clash


Sonny Bill Wil­liams re­turns from in­jury for the Blues against the Storm­ers in Cape Town on Satur­day morn­ing (NZ time).

Wil­liams missed last week’s win over the Chee­tahs with con­cus­sion after cop­ping a knee to the head in Syd­ney the pre­vi­ous week but has been fully cleared to play in South Africa, and will again form a power-packed mid­field com­bi­na­tion with All Blacks util­ity Ge­orge Moala.

The Blues have won their last three matches but can­not drop an­other game this sea­son and must pick up bonus points along the way if they are to sneak past the High­landers and into the playoffs as the fourth-place Kiwi team.

Tana Umaga’s men last won in Cape Town in 2009, los­ing their last two matches there in 2012 and 2015.

The Storm­ers come off the bye, but be­fore that lost their past four games in­clud­ing three big losses to the Hur­ri­canes, High­landers and Cru­saders in New Zealand.

‘‘We knew this back end of the sea­son was full of chal­lenges with our travel sched­ule. We have planned for it and we do have a num­ber of play­ers com­ing back from in­jury for us,’’ Umaga said.

‘‘The Storm­ers at New­lands are a for­mi­da­ble chal­lenge for us. We’ve played well for the last month and need to con­tinue to im­prove ev­ery game as we look to pro­duce an 80-minute per­for­mance.’’

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