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Chiefs could move Nanai-Williams to centre field


Tim Nanai-Williams could find he is playing in Sonny Bill Williams' place

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Article Published: Thursday 7 February 2013


Chiefs assistant coach Andrew Strawbridge has hinted that outside back Tim Nanai-Williams could play in the midfield this Super Rugby season.

The exciting twenty-three-year-old made his Super Rugby debut during the 2010 season in the Super 14 and has become an accomplished wing and fullback.

Nanai-Williams played for the Chiefs in last week's Super Rugby pre-season trial against the Highlanders and looks to have found some early form.

Strawbridge thinks that Nanai-Williams is "one of the best wingers in the country" but he may still have to play closer to the middle of the field.

"I think the All Blacks selectors have got to be looking at him as an outside back option if he backs up what he did last year, this year," Strawbridge told Fairfax NZ News.

"But there's a couple of positions we're looking possibly at using him in."

However when asked if Nanai-Williams would be used in positions other than fullback and wing, Strawbridge replied,"Somewhere else. I won't talk about that."

Nanai-Williams won't be used at first five-eighth as Strawbridge said, "Not 10, we've got some pretty good 10s."

Even though the coach won't talk about where they might play Nanai-Williams the only positions left are halfback or the 12 or 13 jersey.

Strawbridge says that the team trained for a lot of things which didn't get onto field but as their back line this year lacks the size it had last year but has more speed they need to think cleverly about what they do.

Nanai-Williams said that the coaches asked him where he wanted to play earlier this year and he said that he would not mind playing anywhere but he just wants to improve on his efforts from last year.

"Even though we won a championship and people say I played pretty well, for me, I don't really sit on last year's results," Nanai-Williams said.

"This is a new year and I really want to get out there and make another mark. There are a few things in my game that I really want to work on."

Last year Nanai-Williams struggled with a groin injury which he says came from not looking after his body but this year he is more experienced and is taking on more of a leadership role and passing on his knowledge to less experienced backs Bundee Aki, Augustine Pulu, Charlie Ngatai and Gareth Anscombe.

"I've been through the highs and lows of this team," he said.

"I like to put my five cents in now and then. If sometimes I need to talk I'll talk and be a leader, but I'm more of a guy that likes to get out and do things."

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