The latest recruit in the New Zealand women’s sevens rugby squad has been compared to All Black Sonny Bill Williams.
There should be little surprise — she is his sister. Niall Williams has been included in the 12-strong group to contest the opening tournament of the world series in Dubai next week, with coach Sean Horan forced to cater for the absence of several injured players from his three-time defending champion squad.
The only new cap is Williams, who has made rapid progress in recent times, Horan said.
“She’s an amazing athlete similar to her brother. She’s worked very hard over the last nine months to really make this happen.
“She’s a very powerful and skilful player, coming from a touch background so that’s good.”
The Auckland-based 27-year-old mother of two told New Zealand’s stuff.co.nz that sport had been a significant part of the Williams household and she shared some advice that Sonny Bill had passed on.
“We’re just a competitive family,” Williams said.
“We’ve had boxers, we’ve had runners, a lot of league players, so we’ve grown up with a ball, a rugby ball. It’s just natural.
“I actually called [Sonny Bill] to let him know I’ve made the team to travel to Dubai and he was real stoked for me.
“He always tells me just to take each moment as it comes, not to over complicate anything. Just play hard and be proud.”
If she and Sonny Bill can both prove themselves in the 2015-16 world series, there is the possibility both siblings could represent New Zealand at next year’s Rio Olympics. Horan said Niall Williams still has plenty of room to improve.
“Physically she’s tough, so we’re excited.
“We’re not expecting fireworks straight away, but she has real potential and we see a big future for her.”
Source: FOX Sports