1 Aug 2012

All Black centre says pick the best and let coaches worry about depth

2:48 pm on 1 August 2012

The injured All Black centre Conrad Smith says Sonny Bill Williams should be picked even if he'll be playing only two tests in the new rugby championship before leaving for Japan.

Smith will miss the Bledisloe Cup tests against Australia later this month as he recovers from surgery to repair a detached retina.

The All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says they initially weren't going to pick Williams for the competition as he's going to Japan at the end of the month but Smith out he's changed his mind.

That's caused some debate about whether Tamatic Ellison or Ben Smith should have filled the vacancy left by the injury to Smith.

However Conrad Smith feels picking Williams is the right move as he's the form second five in New Zealand and Ellison and Ben Smith will play roles in the Rugby Championship regardless of Sonny Bill's inclusion for the first two games.