Lienert-Brown relishing Sonny Bill showdown

    2017-05-23 10:22

    Cape Town - Chiefs centre Anton Lienert-Brown is relishing the prospect of going head-to-head with Sonny Bill Williams in Auckland on Friday.

    Lienert-Brown, who made his Test debut last year, was Williams' understudy during the more famous All Blacks' time with the Chiefs two years ago.

    But both players will now be vying for a place in the world champions' squad for next month's series against the British and Irish Lions although Lienert-Brown is focusing solely on measuring himself against his former mentor.

    "Sonny's someone I look up to and he's a class player," the 22-year-old told NZ Newswire.

    "I learnt an immense amount off him not just on the field but off the field as well so I'm looking forward to that challenge this week."

    Lienert-Brown played in nine Tests after he was called up to the All Black squad as a replacement for Williams, who injured himself while representing the All Blacks Sevens side at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

    He impressed at Test level in 2016 but admitted that things have been quieter for the Chiefs this year although he has delivered several solid performances for the two-time Super Rugby champions.

    Injuries to team-mates means he has played with five midfield partners this year but despite that, he is focused on improving his game.

    "I've been building and working hard all season to get better and slowly the confidence is starting to come back," added Lienert-Brown.

    "It's not about having a partnership necessarily but doing my job well for the team."

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