NZ Rugby World
All Blacks Wild Card
Tamaiti Williams. Okay, perhaps not this year but the 21-year-old prop is likely to be on the All Blacks’ radar in the very near future. Another Aucklander to make his mark in Canterbury (he attended St Kentigern’s College), Williams, a converted No 8, has the size (1.93m and about 140kg) to make it at the top level and could hardly ask for a better scrum coach than Jason Ryan, who has helped make the Crusaders’ set piece a formidable weapon.
Williams’ unique selling point, however, is his ball carrying ability. That’s where the All Blacks’ have lost ground on their major rivals a little over the past few years – think England’s Mako Vunipola and Australia’s Taniela Tupou.
Here’s what Scott Robertson said about Williams when announcing his squad: “Part of our job is to help convert him to being one of the top tightheads in world rugby because he’s got that ability.” Keep an eye on the big fella.