23 Dec 2014

Sport: Nanai-Williams eager to test himself on the global stage

12:21 pm on 23 December 2014

Tim Nanai-Williams says the chance to test himself on rugby's highest stage was a big factor in his decision to commit his international future to Samoa.

The 25 year old made his debut for the Samoa sevens team earlier this month, having previously represented New Zealand in 2008/09.

He's now eligible to play for Samoa at the 2016 Rio Olympics and if he plays in two more sevens tournaments this season will be available for Manu Samoa's World Cup campaign.

Nanai-Williams says watching the last tournament in New Zealand three years ago fuelled his desire to test himself against the best.

"I guess the opportunity to play on the biggest stage in the world and, regardless who you play for, it's a stage you want to play, it's a stage you want to see how you're up against the best players across the world in general and just a bonus for the Olympics as well. So, I get a bit of both worlds, of fifteens and hopefully Rio, so god willing things will turn out the way I planned but I've got to take these baby steps and why not be in one and play against some good players and see where you're at".

Nanai-Williams says he has been kept in the loop by Manu Samoa head coach Steven Betham about his plans for the 2015 season, although his immediate focus is on the Chiefs upcoming Super Rugby campaign.