Nanai-Williams happy to play anywhere for Chiefs

Chiefs utility back Tim Nanai-Williams says that given the level of competition for places in their Super Rugby squad he is just happy to play anywhere.

Nanai-Williams is often asked which position in the backline is his favourite but he is happy to play anywhere the opportunity is available.

“There is a lot of competition for places in the starting XV. We don’t know from one week to the next who is going to get the call-up. It is a very competitive environment.

“But I look at that as a challenge. Whenever I am named to play, whether it be at fullback or on the wing, I go away and prepare myself to play in that position.

“Taking that approach makes me a better person and better player,” the 51 game back told Sportal.

Nanai-Williams says that it is hard to change the mindset between the positions but he likes the challenge.

“If you are not uncomfortable in your work, you are not extending yourself,” he said.

The versatile back says that while the whole squad are itching to test themselves against the Crusaders on Friday he has his own reasons for wanting to get started.

Nanai-Williams missed the last ITM Cup season with Counties Manukau whilst he recovered from groin surgery and an injury that he had been carrying for two seasons.

The injury meant that he missed out on playing in for his side when they won the Ranfurly Shield and held on to it for the rest of the season..

However he says that he continued to work with the squad and helped out with skills work and picked up the enthusiasm the Shield generated with the players and the public.

“It was quite hard sitting watching the games but I was immensely proud of what the boys achieved. Of course, it would have been a whole lot better had I been playing,” he said.

Nanai-Williams officially returned to training when the rest of the Chiefs regathered after the New Year break but he had been secretly running in preparation after Christmas.

“I’ve been working very hard, doing a lot of strengthening and conditioning work but I had a lot of catching up to do after the others had the benefit of pre-Christmas training,” he said.

He says that the groin injury has stood up well and he is focused on helping the Chiefs defend their title.

“We know a lot are picking us as the favourites but we’re not getting carried away. We know what we’ve got to do,” he said.

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