10 Dec 2012

Ali Williams to skipper the Blues

7:18 pm on 10 December 2012

The veteran All Blacks lock Ali Williams has been announced as captain of the Blues for the 2013 Super Rugby season.

The Blues head coach Sir John Kirwan made the announcement to the team on Monday morning when they assembled for the first official day of pre-season training.

Williams takes over from hooker Keven Mealamu, who has extended his leave after All Blacks duty and relinquished the captaincy to allow someone to lead from the start.

Kirwan says while he's taken into account Williams' recent history of injuries, he says the 2.02-metre tall lock is ready to take on the responsibility of captaining the side and to prove his doubters wrong.

Williams, who returned from England on Sunday following the All Blacks' end of year tour, says it's an honour to captain a side he is passionate about.

And while Williams is known for being a bit of a joker, he says he's not going to drop his light-hearted approach off the field just because he's now the Blues captain.

The 77-test veteran is the second-most experienced player in the current Blues squad with 101 Super Rugby caps, behind Mealamu.