SBW back for Blues

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Sonny Bill Williams is back.

After nine months on the sidelines rehabilitating the ruptured Achilles he suffered at the Rio Olympics, the cross-code star has been named in the Blues 23 to take on the Highlanders on Saturday.

It's been a long road back to the 15-man game for SBW, who has not played a game of 15s since the 2015 World Cup Final.

"It's great to be back. I'm really excited," Williams told media today.Williams being carted off at the Rio Olympics. Photo: Getty Images"It's been a long journey but a really blessed one to get away from footy for a bit - really itching to get back out there.

"I wake up and I'm really excited and love coming to training.

"Sometimes you've been tired because you're changing nappies the night before, but I still love what I do."

The trip to Dunedin marks the beginning of SBW's quest to pull on the All Blacks jersey when the British and Irish Lions come to town in June.SBW hasn't been sighted in Super Rugby since starring for the Chiefs in 2015. Photo: Getty ImagesThat is far from his top priority right now, though, as he will need to be at his very best to get the Blues into the Super Rugby finals given the stacked state of the New Zealand Conference.

"At the start when I got injured I was really down because (of) where I was at the Olympics," he said.

"But then straight away I changed my mindset to 'Ok this is my body telling me I need a bit of a break. I'm going to be at home with my girls for a bit' and that's where it started.

"Trying to be grateful every day was the key but also making the decision that I was going to come back in better shape (than I was in) before the injury.

"Time will tell if that will happen but I'm certainly in a good frame of mind."