Test a sign of normality returning - SBW

10:11 pm on 16 June 2012

All Blacks centre Sonny Bill Williams says he's shocked by the evidence of destruction that still exists in Christchurch.

AMI Stadium was significantly damaged forcing the Crusaders Super Rugby and 2011 world cup games to be moved elsewhere.

But on Saturday night the All Blacks returned to the city for the second Test against Ireland at the new stadium in Addington: the All Blacks won 22-19.

Crusaders and All Blacks lock Sam Whitelock says it was an emotional night for all Cantabrians as the All Blacks went into the game regarded as overwhelming favourites to beat Ireland in the Test.

Williams, a former player for the local Crusaders team, says while he's happy to usher the return of top flight footy to Christchurch, he's amazed at the amount of earthquake damage still visible in the city.

"I was driving down the street a couple of days ago and I went past my old place where I stayed: there was just no building there anymore," he says. "That's pretty common around here".

But having the All Blacks returning to play rugby in Christchurch was good to see because it was a sign of normality returning, he says.