SBW: Future stars are “going to be special again”.

Posted: November 1, 2015 in Uncategorized

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With Carter, Nonu and Conrad Smith leaving for France, Woodcock and Mealamu retiring and McCaw still debating retirement or not, it would be easy for an ill-informed fan to say that New Zealand’s best ever team is now behind them.

But Sonny Bill Williams laughs at such a notion. With high calibre players such as Sam Cane and Nehe Milner-Skudder (granted, two world cup winners but still very early in their career) coming through, New Zealand rugby is in a good place. This is what he had to say to ESPN about it:

“They are legends in their own right,” Williams said of the departing players. “Us boys knew that we had a job to do to see those fellas off as winners.

“But you ask all the New Zealand media, and they will tell you that the talent in New Zealand is crazy. We will just have to wait and see who the new names are, but those guys are going to be special again.

“This [winning the World Cup again] would have to be the biggest accomplishment. The quality of players is second to none.”

Williams may have started the majority of the games on the bench, but there’s no doubting the influence he had once coming on.

Conrad Smith, who had an excellent first forty against the Wallabies, made way at half time for the man-mountain that is Williams. And he did not wait to make an impact. Two offloads later, Nonu runs in a forty meter try.

He also had kind words to say about the backroom staff, especially Hansen:

“He just relates to everyone,” Williams added. “He is the funny guy, but then again he is the serious man, and he’s got the respect of the group.

“For myself, he’s just a coach that I want to play for, and I am pretty sure most of the boys feel the same way. When you are playing for your coach and for your brothers it brings out special performances.”

Playing for your brothers may be what gave the All Blacks that hunger to win, but no doubt wanting to win for it for the Crusaders duo of McCaw and Carter played a part.

Carter was finally offered the chance to shine on the world’s biggest stage, and he did not disappoint. His Man of the Match display can be summed up by his 41 meter drop goal that gave the Kiwis a ten point lead and some breathing space to see off the game.

But as Williams stated, if New Zealand have more up and coming stars of this calibre, winning in Japan 2019 will be a frightening task for the rest of the world.

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