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Todd Blackadder says Sonny Bill Williams' World Cup place in jeopardy after injury-ridden 2018

Former All Blacks lock and Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder says Sonny Bill Williams' days in the black jersey could be numbered after unconvincing performances while on the northern hemisphere tour.

Williams hinted yesterday that he may continue playing after the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

This year the 33-year-old cross-code star had a disrupted season, where he injured his knee against France in the All Blacks' June series and then suffered a shoulder injury against England last month.

Blackadder told The Rugby Paper that the All Blacks selectors will have a lot to discuss about Williams' future in the team.

"Sonny Bill Williams' place in the team will be one of the talking points; there'll be discussions by the coaches around that and combinations moving forward," Blackadder told The Rugby Paper.

Blackadder coached Williams at the Crusaders in 2011 and has been a staunch Williams supporter in the past.

Sonny Bill Williams of New Zealand runs at Ben Te’o (12) of England during the Quilter Autumn Internationals match between England and New Zealand at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham - 10/11/2018
©Matthew Impey / Wired Photos / www.photosport.nz
Sonny Bill Williams only lasted 30 minutes at Twickenham. Source: Photosport

Blackadder said the northern hemisphere tour gave the All Blacks a good opportunity to tweak their game plans ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

"I actually think this is just the start and that the All Blacks have been given a real gift by being tested so bloody hard during this November series," said Blackadder.

Blackadder believes the All Blacks need to adjust quickly to the defensive strategies employed by England and Ireland in their tough and close Tests.

"Both England and Ireland brought a lot of line-speed and defence is what won the game for Ireland on the day, and might have done for England as well.

"When the All Blacks have lost it's been on the back of a massive defensive effort by the opposition, so they'll look closely at their attack, how they can keep teams under pressure and look after the ball better, because they've had opportunities they didn't take."

Blackadder is now the coach for English club Bath.

Bath Rugby coach Todd Blackadder.
Bath Rugby coach Todd Blackadder. Source: Getty


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