New Zealand’s Sonny Bill Williams runs during the Rugby World Cup semifinal.
New Zealand’s Sonny Bill Williams runs during the Rugby World Cup semifinal.

SBW’s big win in mass All Blacks changes

SONNY Bill Williams has been named to start against Wales in what is expected to be his final game for the All Blacks - Rugby World Cup's dreaded third versus fourth playoff match.

Two-time World Cup winner Williams will wear the No.12 jersey on Friday after coming off the bench in the semi-final loss to England.

As expected All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has rung the changes, handing starts to wingers Ben Smith and Rieko Ioane, hooker Dane Coles, flanker Shannon Frizell and centre Ryan Crotty.

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It will also be Hansen's final game at the helm.

"This was a tough team to select because, as always, everyone wanted to play," Hansen said.

"But with a short turnaround and the nature of the tournament, we feel that this is the right team for this occasion.

"There's been a lot of external talk around this being the game that no-one wants to play. "However, from our point of view, we can't wait to play it.

"Everyone in the squad - players and management - are motivated by the opportunity to show that our last performance wasn't at the high standard that we know we can play at.

"This is a Test match against an opposition that will also be keen to make a statement. "Therefore, we will need to turn up with real attitude, intent and work ethic, and then execute our skillsets to the highest level possible.

"The game will be physical and fast as both teams will look to play to their strengths.

"We are looking forward to it and can't wait."

"Whilst none of us - players, management or fans - got the result we wanted at this tournament, this is another opportunity for us to wear the jersey and represent our country with pride.

"On behalf of the All Blacks, we'd like to thank our fans for all their ongoing, unconditional support.

"It's something that we never take for granted and is greatly appreciated by us all within the team."

ALL BLACKS (caps in brackets)

1. Joe Moody (44)

2. Dane Coles (68)

3. Nepo Laulala (24)

4. Brodie Retallick (80)

5. Scott Barrett (35)

6. Shannon Frizell (8)

7. Sam Cane (67)

8. Kieran Read - captain (126)

9. Aaron Smith (91)

10. Richie Mo'unga (16)

11. Rieko Ioane (28)

12. Sonny Bill Williams (56)

13. Ryan Crotty (47)

14. Ben Smith (83)

15. Beauden Barrett (82)

Reserves

16. Liam Coltman (7)

17. Atu Moli (7)

18. Angus Ta'avao (13)

19. Patrick Tuipulotu (29)

20. Matt Todd (24)

21. Brad Weber (4)

22. Anton Lienert-Brown (41)

23. Jordie Barrett (16)

News Corp Australia

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