26 Jun 2009

Williams doubtful for All Blacks Tri-Nations squad

3:59 pm on 26 June 2009

All Blacks coach Graham Henry says senior lock Ali Williams will almost certainly miss the Tri-Nations series because of ongoing problems with his Achilles tendon.

The injury puts a further dampener on an All Blacks squad struggling to muster a fully fit first 15.

The 61-test veteran missed the season-opening Tests against France but was named to play against Italy this weekend before the injury flared again.

He is to see a specialist early next week and Henry says it will be a bonus if he is cleared to play in the Tri-Nations from next month, as surgery seems likely.

Henry says it's very frustrating for Williams and for the team because he's a key player and world class.

It's been a difficult start to the international year for the All Blacks with at least 10 players on their injured roster, including captain Richie McCaw, first-five Dan Carter and wing Sitiveni Sivivatu.