WILLIAMS PLAYED every Test in 2011, making a welcome return to the All Blacks after injuries disrupted his 2009 and 2010 seasons.
His experience is invaluable – he became a Super Rugby centurion last month – and his enthusiasm is undimmed.
The second Alexander Williams to play lock for the All Blacks, the 21st-century edition has all the traditional second rowers’ skills and his all-round athleticism makes him an effective lineout jumper, but it’s his attacking skills with the ball-in-hand that established the pattern for a new kind of lock for the modern era.
A consistent part of the Blues Super Rugby season, Williams slowly but surely built his form and confidence back, a testament to his dedication to his team and the jersey.
He was named in the All Blacks 2011 squad, after playing his last test in 2008.
A lock that is happy to graft away doing the more traditional tasks associated with the role, Williams' attacking skills with the ball-in-hand are also a valuable component to his game. First picked for the Blues in 2002, Williams made his debut for the All Blacks in the same year. Since then he has become an invaluable member of the Blues and the All Blacks.
Williams was one of the stand-out performers during the 2005 DHL New Zealand Lions Series, especially in the All Blacks first-up victory in challenging conditions in Christchurch, and scored two tries over the course of the Series.
As well as Williams’ traditional tight-five abilities, his attacking skills with the ball-in-hand are a valuable component of the All Blacks’ forward play, and his all-round athleticism makes him an effective lineout jumper, especially competing on the opposition’s throw.
In 2008, Ali moved to Christchurch where he joined the Crusaders in winning their seventh Super Rugby Title. It was there that Ali started locking with Brad Thorn, a combination that the All Blacks selectors recognised for the range of options the two players present.
Saturday, 9 November 2002
|Test Points Breakdown:||
2001 v Taranaki
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|Super Rugby Debut:||
2002 v Hurricanes
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•One of only two players, with Dan Carter, to play against Argentina in Buenos Aires and in all six of the All Blacks' 2006 Philips Tri Nations matches.
• Started in all eight of the All Blacks southern hemisphere Tests in 2005 and played in 10 of the year’s Tests in all.
• Has scored as many tries for the All Blacks as he has for Auckland and the Blues combined, in half as many matches.
• Showed his athleticism with his first try for Auckland, scored against Otago after a 30-metre sprint, and again with his third touchdown, which capped off a sprint from beyond halfway.
• Began playing rugby in 1998 as a lock for the Kings College Second XV. He was lock for their First XV in 1999.
• Former Auckland age-group representative in soccer, tennis and cricket.
• Studying for a Bachelor of Business.