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    Sonny Bill: Far more than just 'flash'

    2017-05-17 13:42

    Cape Town - The Blues have been given a massive boost in their push for the Super Rugby playoffs with the inclusion of Sonny Bill Williams in their side for Friday's clash against the Stormers in Cape Town.

    READ: Sonny Bill catches up with 'bro' Wayne Parnell

    Williams missed last weekend's 50-32 win over the Cheetahs in Auckland with concussion that had seen him withdrawn from the week prior's win over the Waratahs at half-time. 

    But the 31-year-old is fully recovered and will be looking for a dominant display as he continues his fight for an All Black starting berth in the upcoming British & Irish Lions tour. 

    And while Williams' game-changing abilities are obviously a major plus for the Blues, assistant coach Steve Jackson says he offers far more than that. 

    "The guys around him listen and get up for what he can do. We all know that he can offload and carry hard and tackle strong, but he talks really well as well," said Jackson.

    "He's been fantastic again this week, especially having a lot of young boys around.

    "He helps James (Parsons) with the captaincy duties as well and is part of a really strong leadership group."

    Jackson added that Williams still had some way to go before he found his best. 

    "He'll probably be the first to say that he's just getting back to form, but it's just him being out on the field," he said.

    "He is passed everything at this stage so he's looking forward to Friday night and getting out there and having a run around with his team-mates.

    "He brings a decent body, doesn't he? He's quite an athlete."

    Kick-off on Friday night is at 19:00 and Williams will start in the No 12 jersey. 

    Teams:

    Stormers

    15 SP Marais, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Dillyn Leyds, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Siya Kolisi (captain), 6 Kobus van Dyk, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Oli Kebble

    Substitutes: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Jan de Klerk, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Jano Vermaak, 22 Brandon Thomson, 23 Damian de Allende

    Blues

    15 Melani Nanai, 14 Matt Duffie, 13 George Moala, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Piers Francis, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons (captain), 1 Ofa Tu'ungafasi

    Substitutes: 16 Hame Faiva, 17 Alex Hodgman, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Kara Pryor, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Bryn Gatland, 23 Michael Collins

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    Fixtures

    Friday, 28 February 2020
    • Highlanders v Rebels, Forsyth Barr Stadium 08:05
    • Waratahs v Lions, Bankwest Stadium 10:15
    Saturday, 29 February 2020
    • Hurricanes v Sunwolves, McLean Park 05:45
    • Reds v Sharks, Suncorp Stadium 10:15
    • Stormers v Blues, Cape Town 15:05
    • Bulls v Jaguares, Loftus Versfeld 17:15
    Friday, 06 March 2020
    • Crusaders v Reds, Orangetheory Stadium 08:05
    • Waratahs v Chiefs, WIN Stadium 10:15

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