Midfield battle awaits boxer Williams

Sonny Bill Williams is relishing a toe-to-toe midfield battle as New Zealand take on Scotland on Saturday and is eager for a reunion with Rory Lamont.

The 25-year-old former rugby league international, who will win his second cap at Murrayfield, played alongside Scotland wing Lamont at Toulon, his first rugby union club, in France's Top 14 championship before returning to New Zealand with Canterbury, making his debut in September.

His first All Blacks cap came last week in the 26-16 win over England and Williams is looking forward to renewing acquaintances with Lamont after retaining a place in the starting XV.

"He's a fit, big man, Rory," said Williams, a part-time boxer.

"I'll be looking forward to catching up with him after the game.

"He's a good man, you might have to tell him to take it easy on me."

Williams, who stands at 6ft 3in (1.91m) and weighs 17 stones (108kg), will line up at inside centre, moving inside from his position at Twickenham, and is hoping for a full-on confrontation with Graeme Morrison, who concedes just three kilograms to his opposite number.

"Hopefully he runs it straight and we'll run it straight back at him and we'll see how we go," added Williams.

The encounter will be the 28th meeting in 105 years between the teams, but Scotland are still to beat the All Blacks.

Williams, though, is wary of the hosts, who are unbeaten in their last four Tests and defeated Australia last autumn.

"They've got a strong backline from what I've seen - they like to throw the ball around," he added.

"The game's changed a bit, most teams play the counter attack and play with a bit of width, so we've got to be on our toes as a backline defensively.

"We've got to look to try and express ourselves and take the opportunities."

Williams was described as 'Superman' ahead of his debut with England but is unfazed by the hype and aware of the need to continually improve to stay in the All Blacks line-up.

"I just try to keep it simple," he said.

"It's been like that since I got back to New Zealand. If I start dwelling on those kind of things I won't get to where I need to get to.

"There's a few things that I've gone over in the video with the coaches that I need to improve on - to express myself a bit more, be confident and do what I do - and I'm definitely looking to do that this week.

"Hopefully I'll be a bit fitter than last week - it was definitely a step up in intensity, but I feel that a week on I'll be a lot better.

"I've been trying to do the basics really well and hopefully I'll take that on."

As for the change of position, Williams does not believe it will have too great an impact.

"It's just another number on the back of the jersey," he said.

"I've played the majority of my time at Canterbury in that position, but it's still the same thing, it's still the same pressures and I definitely have to perform up there.

"Any time you get a start in the All Blacks is something special."

Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments