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Nanai-Williams rejoins Counties Manukau

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 11/05/2017

Tim Nanai-Williams will once again play his rugby for the Counties Manukau Steelers in this season's National Provincial Championship.

The 27-year-old has been on the sidelines for over two months since dislocating his shoulder in the Chiefs' 26-18 win over the Hurricanes in March.

Nanai-Williams has only just returned to Kiwi rugby after a two-year stint with the Ricoh Rams in Japan, and Counties boss Darryl Suasua is rapt to have him back.

"It's no secret how good Tim is, and he's certainly a class individual - he started his career here with the Manurewa club," Suasua said.

"He has both flair and experience on the field and will bring a lot of confidence and leadership ability, so that will be a huge help to some of the boys."

Nanai-Williams has played 55 games for the province since his 2008 debut, so the Steelers were only too happy to enlist the services of their former captain.

"It was a no-brainer for us to sign him when he decided he was going to stay - the Counties diehard fans would have been devastated to see him playing somewhere else," Suasua said.

The Samoan international has made a career as a utility player but Suasua would like to see him as a No.15 with the talent they already have out wide.

The Chiefs' Toni Pulu and Glen Fisiiahi play on either Counties flank.

"I tend to like him at fullback," Suasua said.

"(The trio is) a pretty dangerous combination."

Should Nanai-Williams recover from his shoulder injury, he's also likely to play at fullback for Samoa against the All Blacks at Eden Park in June.

His international commitments mean he could miss the Chiefs' midweek match against the British and Irish Lions, with Samoa playing Wales in Apia.

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