News in Brief
Injured Williams vows to return
February 10, 2010
Blues lock Ali Williams suffered his latest injury blow in the opening moments of his comeback game
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- Injured All Blacks lock Ali Williams has vowed he will came back from his latest rugby injury and is hopeful of playing in this year's Air New Zealand Cup.
Williams has begun his second lengthy layoff in quick succession after rupturing his achilles tendon early in a Super 14 pre-season match for the Blues against the Chiefs. The 61-test lock had been coming back from another achilles problem that sidelined him for the whole of All Blacks' test programme last year.
But in response to conjecture over his future in the game, Williams was adamant. "It's there's no way I'm finished, hell no," he said. "I'm keen as."
Williams, 28, said he expected to be back on the field in six months and he believed his time out would only add more years at the end of his career. "As you can see, a lot of people come back and come back better," he said. "I don't see any issue why I shouldn't come back better and even smarter. And obviously to be part of the All Blacks and that bigger dream, which is a World Cup."
- Edinburgh fullback Chris Paterson has agreed a new two-year contract with the Magners League club. The 31-year-old, who will earn his 100th cap in Saturday's Six Nations game in Wales, had no hesitation in extending his stay at his hometown club.
Paterson, who rejoined Edinburgh from Gloucester in the summer of 2008, said: "I'm delighted to have signed a new contract. "Since I returned two years ago, I feel I have improved hugely as a player and I'm as happy as I've ever been as a professional.
"Winning a trophy is a goal for everybody in the squad and the club," he added. "We need to cement our progress with a trophy. Everyone can see the progress we have made and how hard we compete. We finished second last year and this season we are targeting a place in the play-offs with the aim of going all the way. It is all about improving and delivering and I'm excited about the future at Edinburgh."
Head coach Rob Moffat underlined the fact Paterson had more to offer than just his kicking accuracy. "Everyone knows that Chris is a world-class goal-kicker, but he is also an excellent rugby player," he said. "There is a lot that Chris brings to the table and, in the absence of Mike Blair and Ally Hogg, he has captained the team very well and he has led by example."
- Sale fullback Marika Vakacegu has had his citing for alleged eye gouging dismissed by an Rugby Football Union disciplinary panel.
The Fiji back was accused of making contact with the eye or eye area of Northampton centre Joe Ansbro during the Saints' 20-14 Anglo-Welsh Cup win at Edgeley Park on January 29, But the three-man panel, chaired by Anthony Davies, felt "that he had not committed an act contrary to good sportsmanship - a breach of Law 10(4)(m) - and he is free to continue playing."
- Former All Blacks coach Fred Allen was described as "the patriarch of New Zealand rugby" as he celebrated his 90th birthday in Auckland on Tuesday. The accolade came from Sir Brian Lochore, his skipper during his time as Test coach from 1966 to 1968.
Allen was honoured with a civic reception hosted by Auckland Mayor John Banks and attended by more than 90 guests, among them many former All Blacks. Nicknamed "the Needle", Allen was unbeaten in his 14 Tests in charge.
- Northampton's South African hooker Brett Sharman has agreed a new contract with the Guinness Premiership club. Sharman, 23, joined Saints in late 2008 from the Pretoria-based Blue Bulls.