7 Oct 2011

Sonny Bill hopes World Cup knockouts won't kill off flair

7:00 am on 7 October 2011

The All Blacks utility Sonny Bill Williams hopes New Zealand's attacking attacking style isn't curtailed even though the stakes have been raised with the Rugby World Cup reaching the knockout phase.

The 26-year-old, who's had a limited role in the campaign, has played both on the wing and in the midfield and helped the All Blacks run up 240 points and 36 tries in the pool stage.

Williams says he hopes they still play with the freedom they have been but at the same time they're aware, lose and the tournament is over.

His namesake, lock Ali Williams, has experienced failed World Cup campaigns with the All Blacks in 2003 and 2007 and says preparation is a minor part of the equation in the knockout stage.

Ali Williams believes what sides do during the week makes up only 15 percent of the final equation and it's what happens on match day that counts.