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Better than Jonah Lomu?
England have been warned of Williams threat
Posted Nov 05, 2010 by Jeff Dawson
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When a New Zealand rugby player is said to be more potent that the great Jonah Lomu, you better believe that this is a special talent – and England have been warned ahead of the Autumn Test on Saturday.
The man who has received such massive praise in Sonny Bill Williams, the 6ft 4in, 17 stone powerhouse who is set to make his Union debut for the All Blacks after converting from Rugby League.
The 25-year-old is tipped to be the best convert of rugby genres since Jason Robinson and it’s easy to see why.
This mountain of a man is huge. He is dominating. He is all muscle. And he has unquestionable ability to back all this brawn up.
And England’s Tom May, capped twice by his country, has seen first hand how devastating a player Williams can be after they played together at Toulon.
May told the BBC: “Sonny’s got more to his game than Jonah Lomu. His size is his obvious strength but his offloading ability is unbelievable. He’ll be looking forward to Saturday. He can hold the ball in one hand, which I haven’t seen many people able to do, and it enables him to run at full pelt, break tackles and offload so accurately. Most people tuck the ball under their arm or hold it in two hands, but he holds it away from his body in one hand and it makes him hard to stop as a defender. If you go high you stand the risk of being bumped off, whereas if you go lo the risk as a defender is he’s able to offload, so it’s going to be difficult for England.”
So the hosts have been warned, but how can they stop him? Williams will be playing at outside centre instead of Conrad Smith and he will be a fearsome opponent when running at the English backs. It is going to take something special to stop him bulldozing his way through the England line-up and I can’t see many ways of preventing the inevitable.
His power, speed, ability with the ball in hand and his sheer size will make it next to impossible to stop him. England will have to be weary of his threat and may need to double up if they are to have a chance of stopping this beast. It will be an intriguing debut on Saturday and it’ll be fascinating to see how England deal with this threat.