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Nanai Williams hoping to face Sunwolves

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/04/2017

Tim Nanai-Williams is part of the All Blacks squad that will play Samoa next week. © Getty Images Tim Nanai-Williams is part of the All Blacks squad that will play Samoa next week. A recuperating Tim Nanai Williams is in a race against time to be fit for the Chiefs' clash with the Sunwolves in Hamilton on Saturday.

The Samoan international utility back dislocated his shoulder in their 26-18 win over the Hurricanes in March and is keen to face the Japanese side having played club rugby in Japan for the Ricoh Rams for the last two seasons.

"It's feeling a lot stronger than it was six weeks ago and I'm getting a lot of strength in my muscles so hopefully it will be this week" he said.

Williams has played with Sunwolves No.8 Shuhei Matsuhashi at the Rams and is wary of a team that is stacked with internationals after the Brave Blossoms upset South Africa in 2015.

"They're class players as you can see what they did at the World Cup and you can't just let your guard down as they're a fit team and will run the ball from anywhere" he said.

Williams believes the Chiefs will step up at home after returning from a patchy road trip. They were beaten by the Stormers and struggled to win against the Cheetahs and Western Force this month.

"It's a tough tour after three weeks and the boys are definitely happy to be back and they really want to put on a good performance this week," he said.

Meanwhile, the 27-year-old admits he may face a tough decision in June when the Chiefs host the British and Irish Lions in Hamilton. The match on June 20 falls three days before Samoa host Wales in Apia.

Williams will have to get permission from Samoan coach Alama Ieremia to face the Lions which would limit his preparation time for the international should he play in both games.

"I'll talk to both sides because the Lions is a big thing but playing for my country is also important. Hopefully we can get the best of both worlds," he said.

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