Nanai-Williams keen to stay on with Chiefs

Chiefs utility back Tim Nanai-Williams says that even though he has started playing sevens for Samoa he has no plans to move and wants to stay with the Chiefs.

Nanai-Williams has taken advantage of the new World Rugby regulations which allow a player to switch allegiance as five years ago he played the last his seven tournaments for New Zealand in sevens.

The move to playing for Samoa makes Nanai-Williams one of the highest profile switches and he says that even though he comes off contract at the end of the year he wants to stay on in New Zealand for another year or two.

The twenty-five-year-old utility back has played two World Series sevens events for Samoa and has to play two more sevens events to qualify for the Samoa 15s under the new regulations.

Nanai-Williams earning capacity will be limited if he stays on as he will become a non-All Black-eligible New Zealand professional but he is happy with the decision he made to switch to Samoa.

“I really think we are in the best competition in the world,” Nanai-Williams told the Herald on Sunday.

“I like to play the best rugby. A lot of boys seem to leave after the World Cup but I’m fairly young and keen for another year or two.”

If everything goes to plan Nanai-Williams could be in for a seriously intense couple of months around June and July as the Chiefs could be in the Super Rugby playoffs and Manu Samoa will host a Test against the All Blacks on July 8 in Apia.

“I’ve got a lot of footy in front of me,” Nanai-Williams said.

“Hopefully we can make the finals and then I can get picked for the Manu for that big game but I’m just taking it one step at a time.”

The backline flyer will play Sevens again for Samoa in the Wellington Sevens which is in the week before Super Rugby kicks off and hopes to play his final Sevens leg in Scotland on the weekend of May 9 and 10 when the Chiefs have a bye.

Nanai-Williams says that other players are also considering the switch including Toulon wing David Smith who player one one sevens tournament for New Zealand in 2008 but could start his switch to Samoa in Wellington.

While a number of players will have to hope that their clubs buy into the process but Nanai-Williams does not have to worry about it with the Chiefs.

“I’m lucky enough with the Chiefs. We sat down and I gave them an understanding of what I want to do.”

Nanai-Williams says he has not yet discussed with Chiefs coach Dave Rennie where he will be playing in 2015 but says it is unlikely that he will be in the midfield and the Chiefs want a bulkier backline in 2015 and he will more than likely be on the wing or at fullback.

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