All Blacks 'bewildered in their midfield' writes Stephen Jones

British rugby scribe and famed All Blacks critic Stephen Jones has questioned Sonny Bill Williams' place in Steve Hansen's side, ahead of what could prove to be a pivotal Rugby Championship campaign.

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The All Blacks coach discussed the risks associated with SBW making his comeback to rugby off the bench against South Africa. Source: 1 NEWS

Having battled injuries for most of 2019, Williams has travelled with the All Blacks to Buenos Aires for Sunday morning's first Test of the year, although appears unlikely to play.

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The Chiefs second-five says the constant competition pushes him to give it his all in every match. Source: 1 NEWS

With the All Blacks to take just 31 players to this year's World Cup in Japan, midfield remains a contentious issue among fans and commentators, with New Zealand boasting at least five world class options.

As things stand, at least one of Williams, Ryan Crotty, Anton Lienert-Brown, Jack Goodhue and Ngani Laumape will miss out on travelling to Japan with the All Blacks.

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No fewer than six players are contenders for the 12 and 13 jerseys this year. Source: 1 NEWS

Writing in his column for the Sunday Times, Jones took aim at the All Blacks' potential centre pairings, saying:

"It will be fascinating to see the state of New Zealand as they return to action," Jones wrote.

"They still appear bewildered in their midfield, still cannot work out if Sonny Bill Williams is their key man or some form of diverting frippery."

The All Blacks' side to face Argentina on Sunday morning will be revealed later this week.