World Cup winner Williams switches to sevens


Two-time Rugby World Cup winner Sonny Bill Williams could add an Olympic gold medal to his collection this year after being named in the All Blacks sevens team.

Williams lifted the Webb Ellis trophy for the second time last year as part of the dominant All Blacks side in XV's rugby, and now he will try his hand at the shortened form of the game.

The 30-year-old - who has also represented his country in rugby league - was named in New Zealand's 12-man squad for the latest round of the World Series event in Wellington. 

And with the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro including sevens rugby for the first time, Williams is relishing his chance to impress this weekend.

"I still have a lot to learn - it's a whole new game," he said. "I'm a full time sevens player this year because I understand how hard it is.

"I've enjoyed the hard work. It's been tough at time but when you see the boys next to you working hard it pushes you further.

"I'm loving it. The environment, the boys, the hard work. Its lit a fire in me."

Williams - who played in the centre during the World Cup - has plenty to learn, though, given coach Gordon Tietjens intends to use him as a forward in sevens.

"Sonny will start in the forwards," said Tietjens. "I find that's the best place for someone to learn the game.

"He's big and powerful and can contribute a lot in the forwards but we can equally put him out in the backs when we need him.

"That's the beauty of sevens."