All Blacks centre Ma’a Nonu, shifting out one position from his preferred berth at second five-eighth to accommodate Sonny Bill Williams, said he is looking forward to playing with his midfield rival.
The two players in theory are operating head-to-head for the honour of the All Blacks number 12 jersey, but while the Grand Slam tour last year may have had little separating the pair, coach Graham Henry has opted to start Nonu in most test matches so far this season.
Williams, who started against the Springboks in Port Elizabeth, is giving his second opportunity this year.
A chance, as Henry said, to “to force their (his) abilities on the selectors.”
Henry has said that Williams needs to measure his approach.
"Don't try and do it all in five minutes. Patience is going to be key. If he (Williams) lets his natural ability control the way he plays, he will play well."
This is something that the big centre agrees with.
"Sometimes I get a bit too excited out on the field,” he said.
But Nonu said he was excited to playing with his high profile team mate.
"Everyone knows what he can do," Nonu said.
“He's a megastar and a rock star and a great athlete.
"If he can do his magic, hopefully I can run off him."
The two will be against Andrew Ma'ilei and Sukanaivalu Hufanga in the Tongan midfield, and while there names may not be familiar to some, they have been selected based on their overall fitness.
Nonu said the Pacific Islanders would come out hard.
"I think the Tongans will be firing," Nonu said.
"They pretty much want to come out and have a good hit-out really.
"I assume they want to bash us. There'll be no love lost against the Tongans, our Tongan brothers, and it will be a good first-up game."
Source : www.allblacks.com