The 1014 discuss Sonny Bill Williams and how his role is changing with the All Blacks.
We believe he has been asked to modify the way he operates because of another special player, Beauden Barrett.
When SBW burst onto the scene for the All Blacks in 2010 we all knew he was a special talent. This talent only really started to come through in the third Test against the Irish in 2012. Playing outside Aaron Cruden, SBW was basically given carte blanche to work his magic and work it he did.
On his return from League and in the lead-up to the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Steve Hansen described SBW as the third punch in a three punch combo. With this, he was referring to the midfield of Ma’a Nonu, Conrad Smith and SBW.
But something happened in 2016 that no one really expected and that was the galactical arrival of Beauden Barrett. We believe the carte blanche batton has been handed to Barrett and now SBW is modifying his game in a more traditional way. This certainly hasn’t stopped the trademark offloads – he is still the highest in that department in The Rugby Championship. But subtle variations are creeping into his game.
Check out the following video where we discuss how we see the new SBW.
Let us know what you think. Have we missed the boat or are you seeing this evolution as well?
Author: The 1014 Rugby
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