6 Mar 2013

SBW looking hopeful for NRL return against Rabbitohs

7:15 pm on 6 March 2013

Sydney Roosters skipper Anthony Minichiello has backed Sonny Bill Williams to make an instant impression on his return to the National Rugby League against South Sydney on Thursday.

Williams trained with his team-mates on Wednesday morning and Minichello expects the New Zealand Rugby World Cup winner to come off the bench against the Rabbitohs at Allianz Stadium as planned.

Williams underwent surgery on a torn pectoral muscle in November and had his left knee strapped as he was put through his paces.

The 27-year-old has not played in the NRL since 2008, when he walked out on Canterbury mid-season to take up a contract with French rugby side Toulon.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson has resisted the urge to name the dual international in his starting line-up, in light of his restricted pre-season.

The former Melbourne and Kiwis prop Jeff Lima, who's spent the past couple of years playing in England, is set to make his debut for the Rabittohs.