Ben Te’o braced for Sonny Bill Williams

May 26, 2020 by admin

first_imgPhoto by: DAVID ROGERS/GETTY IMAGES (Kiwi-born Lions midfielder Ben Te’o is ready to clash with Sonny Bill Williams for the first time since 2014, when they were both playing league).Te’o leads the clashes between the cross-code converts 3-2, and holds the historical upper hand after landing a big shot last time they meet in the 2014 NRL preliminary final.Prior to it being banned, Williams rose to fame on the back of his impeccable timing when laying on shoulder charges during his successful NRL career.But last time out, Te’o got one back with an illegal shot of his own on Williams.Three years on, the Kiwi-born midfielders are sure to again come to blows at Eden Park in the first test between the All Blacks and Lions on Saturday.Chat live with Mark Reason about the Lions tour from midday on Tuesdays and Fridays.Just in case this series needed another subplot. “I never talked about it,” Te’o said when quizzed about his hit on Williams. “He’s a great player. We’ll have to see what happens on Saturday.”I’ve been lucky enough to play against him a couple of times. We’re both at 12 but whether we meet on the field who knows what’s going to happen. I’m wary of his abilities and I know what he can do in big games I’ve seen it before. We’ll be preparing well for it.”Te’o has made a career out of being comfortable in his confines and switching allegiances – from Junior Kiwis to Queensland, Australia and, now, England – so running out in his city of birth for the opposition is just another day.There’s no nostalgia about Te’o  – not outwardly at least. Playing rugby at North Harbour Stadium as a teenager sits firmly in the past, and while his parents still live in Whangaparaoa, there’s no questioning where loyalties lie this week.”I lived here a long time ago. I grew up just up the road and played a bit of rugby here in this stadium so I know it well. I left here at 17 and I’ve gone on a long journey. I’m here now with the Lions. I wouldn’t say it’s anything different.”I’ve got some family here and they’re looking forward to the game. They’ll be kitted out in Lions gear – they know who to support.”Te’o has been one of the success stories of the Lions tour. Warren Gatland picked him after one starting test for England, and most assumed he would play a bit-part role off the bench. Instead, his direct presence fits perfectly into Gatland’s plans.From being somewhat shocked by his initial call-up, Te’o’s consistent performances have relegated Irish second five-eighth Robbie Henshaw to Lions the mid-week team. And with numbers like nine clean breaks, 14 defenders beaten and 200 metres, it’s easy to see why he will link with Welsh centre Jonathan Davies against the All Blacks.”Once I got on the plane I realised every opportunity I get I have to try and seize. Every game was a trial match. I’m happy I’ve done enough for the coaches to show enough faith to play me but it’s only the beginning now. The real test is coming on Saturday and I’m fully aware of what’s coming.”From the outset Gatland made it clear he believed Te’o possessed a much broader range of skills than he is often given credit for.The man himself, though, is more than happy just to play his role.”I understand what I am. It’s not like I can go out there and throw a couple of kicks and long balls and turnaround and say ‘I told you I can play like that’.”I do what I feel comfortable with and what my strengths are and I’m fine with that. Whatever people say it doesn’t bother me anymore. I’m probably too far down the track in my career to be worrying about what people say. All I can do is bring my strengths and try add it to the team.”If they want me to truck it up, I’ll truck it up. If they want me to do something else they’ll let me know.”Having played in seven State of Origin matches and won an NRL Premiership with Souths, Te’o is unlikely to be overawed by the first test occasion.But out of the corner of his eye, he might want to watch for Williams to level the ledger. Prior to it being banned, Williams rose to fame on the back of his impeccable timing when laying on shoulder charges during his successful NRL career.But last time out, Te’o got one back with an illegal shot of his own on Williams.Three years on, the Kiwi-born midfielders are sure to again come to blows at Eden Park in the first test between the All Blacks and Lions on Saturday.Chat live with Mark Reason about the Lions tour from midday on Tuesdays and Fridays.Just in case this series needed another subplot. “I never talked about it,” Te’o said when quizzed about his hit on Williams. “He’s a great player. We’ll have to see what happens on Saturday.”I’ve been lucky enough to play against him a couple of times. We’re both at 12 but whether we meet on the field who knows what’s going to happen. I’m wary of his abilities and I know what he can do in big games I’ve seen it before. We’ll be preparing well for it.”Te’o has made a career out of being comfortable in his confines and switching allegiances – from Junior Kiwis to Queensland, Australia and, now, England – so running out in his city of birth for the opposition is just another day.There’s no nostalgia about Te’o  – not outwardly at least. Playing rugby at North Harbour Stadium as a teenager sits firmly in the past, and while his parents still live in Whangaparaoa, there’s no questioning where loyalties lie this week.”I lived here a long time ago. I grew up just up the road and played a bit of rugby here in this stadium so I know it well. I left here at 17 and I’ve gone on a long journey. I’m here now with the Lions. I wouldn’t say it’s anything different.”I’ve got some family here and they’re looking forward to the game. They’ll be kitted out in Lions gear – they know who to support.”Te’o has been one of the success stories of the Lions tour. Warren Gatland picked him after one starting test for England, and most assumed he would play a bit-part role off the bench. Instead, his direct presence fits perfectly into Gatland’s plans.From being somewhat shocked by his initial call-up, Te’o’s consistent performances have relegated Irish second five-eighth Robbie Henshaw to Lions the mid-week team. And with numbers like nine clean breaks, 14 defenders beaten and 200 metres, it’s easy to see why he will link with Welsh centre Jonathan Davies against the All Blacks.”Once I got on the plane I realised every opportunity I get I have to try and seize. Every game was a trial match. I’m happy I’ve done enough for the coaches to show enough faith to play me but it’s only the beginning now. The real test is coming on Saturday and I’m fully aware of what’s coming.”From the outset Gatland made it clear he believed Te’o possessed a much broader range of skills than he is often given credit for.The man himself, though, is more than happy just to play his role.”I understand what I am. It’s not like I can go out there and throw a couple of kicks and long balls and turnaround and say ‘I told you I can play like that’.”I do what I feel comfortable with and what my strengths are and I’m fine with that. Whatever people say it doesn’t bother me anymore. I’m probably too far down the track in my career to be worrying about what people say. All I can do is bring my strengths and try add it to the team.”If they want me to truck it up, I’ll truck it up. If they want me to do something else they’ll let me know.”Having played in seven State of Origin matches and won an NRL Premiership with Souths, Te’o is unlikely to be overawed by the first test occasion.But out of the corner of his eye, he might want to watch for Williams to level the ledger. Photo by: DAVID ROGERS/GETTY IMAGES (Kiwi-born Lions midfielder Ben Te’o is ready to clash with Sonny Bill Williams for the first time since 2014, when they were both playing league).Te’o leads the clashes between the cross-code converts 3-2, and holds the historical upper hand after landing a big shot last time they meet in the 2014 NRL preliminary final. Te’o leads the clashes between the cross-code converts 3-2, and holds the historical upper hand after landing a big shot last time they meet in the 2014 NRL preliminary final.Prior to it being banned, Williams rose to fame on the back of his impeccable timing when laying on shoulder charges during his successful NRL career.But last time out, Te’o got one back with an illegal shot of his own on Williams.Three years on, the Kiwi-born midfielders are sure to again come to blows at Eden Park in the first test between the All Blacks and Lions on Saturday.Chat live with Mark Reason about the Lions tour from midday on Tuesdays and Fridays.Just in case this series needed another subplot. “I never talked about it,” Te’o said when quizzed about his hit on Williams. “He’s a great player. We’ll have to see what happens on Saturday.”I’ve been lucky enough to play against him a couple of times. We’re both at 12 but whether we meet on the field who knows what’s going to happen. I’m wary of his abilities and I know what he can do in big games I’ve seen it before. We’ll be preparing well for it.”Te’o has made a career out of being comfortable in his confines and switching allegiances – from Junior Kiwis to Queensland, Australia and, now, England – so running out in his city of birth for the opposition is just another day.There’s no nostalgia about Te’o  – not outwardly at least. Playing rugby at North Harbour Stadium as a teenager sits firmly in the past, and while his parents still live in Whangaparaoa, there’s no questioning where loyalties lie this week.”I lived here a long time ago. I grew up just up the road and played a bit of rugby here in this stadium so I know it well. I left here at 17 and I’ve gone on a long journey. I’m here now with the Lions. I wouldn’t say it’s anything different.”I’ve got some family here and they’re looking forward to the game. They’ll be kitted out in Lions gear – they know who to support.”Te’o has been one of the success stories of the Lions tour. Warren Gatland picked him after one starting test for England, and most assumed he would play a bit-part role off the bench. Instead, his direct presence fits perfectly into Gatland’s plans.From being somewhat shocked by his initial call-up, Te’o’s consistent performances have relegated Irish second five-eighth Robbie Henshaw to Lions the mid-week team. And with numbers like nine clean breaks, 14 defenders beaten and 200 metres, it’s easy to see why he will link with Welsh centre Jonathan Davies against the All Blacks.”Once I got on the plane I realised every opportunity I get I have to try and seize. Every game was a trial match. I’m happy I’ve done enough for the coaches to show enough faith to play me but it’s only the beginning now. The real test is coming on Saturday and I’m fully aware of what’s coming.”From the outset Gatland made it clear he believed Te’o possessed a much broader range of skills than he is often given credit for.The man himself, though, is more than happy just to play his role.”I understand what I am. It’s not like I can go out there and throw a couple of kicks and long balls and turnaround and say ‘I told you I can play like that’.”I do what I feel comfortable with and what my strengths are and I’m fine with that. Whatever people say it doesn’t bother me anymore. I’m probably too far down the track in my career to be worrying about what people say. All I can do is bring my strengths and try add it to the team.”If they want me to truck it up, I’ll truck it up. If they want me to do something else they’ll let me know.”Having played in seven State of Origin matches and won an NRL Premiership with Souths, Te’o is unlikely to be overawed by the first test occasion.But out of the corner of his eye, he might want to watch for Williams to level the ledger. Photo by: DAVID ROGERS/GETTY IMAGES (Kiwi-born Lions midfielder Ben Te’o is ready to clash with Sonny Bill Williams for the first time since 2014, when they were both playing league).Te’o leads the clashes between the cross-code converts 3-2, and holds the historical upper hand after landing a big shot last time they meet in the 2014 NRL preliminary final. Photo by: DAVID ROGERS/GETTY IMAGES (Kiwi-born Lions midfielder Ben Te’o is ready to clash with Sonny Bill Williams for the first time since 2014, when they were both playing league). Prior to it being banned, Williams rose to fame on the back of his impeccable timing when laying on shoulder charges during his successful NRL career.But last time out, Te’o got one back with an illegal shot of his own on Williams.Three years on, the Kiwi-born midfielders are sure to again come to blows at Eden Park in the first test between the All Blacks and Lions on Saturday.Chat live with Mark Reason about the Lions tour from midday on Tuesdays and Fridays.Just in case this series needed another subplot. “I never talked about it,” Te’o said when quizzed about his hit on Williams. “He’s a great player. We’ll have to see what happens on Saturday.”I’ve been lucky enough to play against him a couple of times. We’re both at 12 but whether we meet on the field who knows what’s going to happen. I’m wary of his abilities and I know what he can do in big games I’ve seen it before. We’ll be preparing well for it.”Te’o has made a career out of being comfortable in his confines and switching allegiances – from Junior Kiwis to Queensland, Australia and, now, England – so running out in his city of birth for the opposition is just another day.There’s no nostalgia about Te’o  – not outwardly at least. Playing rugby at North Harbour Stadium as a teenager sits firmly in the past, and while his parents still live in Whangaparaoa, there’s no questioning where loyalties lie this week.”I lived here a long time ago. I grew up just up the road and played a bit of rugby here in this stadium so I know it well. I left here at 17 and I’ve gone on a long journey. I’m here now with the Lions. I wouldn’t say it’s anything different.”I’ve got some family here and they’re looking forward to the game. They’ll be kitted out in Lions gear – they know who to support.”Te’o has been one of the success stories of the Lions tour. Warren Gatland picked him after one starting test for England, and most assumed he would play a bit-part role off the bench. Instead, his direct presence fits perfectly into Gatland’s plans.From being somewhat shocked by his initial call-up, Te’o’s consistent performances have relegated Irish second five-eighth Robbie Henshaw to Lions the mid-week team. And with numbers like nine clean breaks, 14 defenders beaten and 200 metres, it’s easy to see why he will link with Welsh centre Jonathan Davies against the All Blacks.”Once I got on the plane I realised every opportunity I get I have to try and seize. Every game was a trial match. I’m happy I’ve done enough for the coaches to show enough faith to play me but it’s only the beginning now. The real test is coming on Saturday and I’m fully aware of what’s coming.”From the outset Gatland made it clear he believed Te’o possessed a much broader range of skills than he is often given credit for.The man himself, though, is more than happy just to play his role.”I understand what I am. It’s not like I can go out there and throw a couple of kicks and long balls and turnaround and say ‘I told you I can play like that’.”I do what I feel comfortable with and what my strengths are and I’m fine with that. Whatever people say it doesn’t bother me anymore. I’m probably too far down the track in my career to be worrying about what people say. All I can do is bring my strengths and try add it to the team.”If they want me to truck it up, I’ll truck it up. If they want me to do something else they’ll let me know.”Having played in seven State of Origin matches and won an NRL Premiership with Souths, Te’o is unlikely to be overawed by the first test occasion.But out of the corner of his eye, he might want to watch for Williams to level the ledger. Photo by: DAVID ROGERS/GETTY IMAGES (Kiwi-born Lions midfielder Ben Te’o is ready to clash with Sonny Bill Williams for the first time since 2014, when they were both playing league).Te’o leads the clashes between the cross-code converts 3-2, and holds the historical upper hand after landing a big shot last time they meet in the 2014 NRL preliminary final. Prior to it being banned, Williams rose to fame on the back of his impeccable timing when laying on shoulder charges during his successful NRL career.But last time out, Te’o got one back with an illegal shot of his own on Williams.Three years on, the Kiwi-born midfielders are sure to again come to blows at Eden Park in the first test between the All Blacks and Lions on Saturday.Chat live with Mark Reason about the Lions tour from midday on Tuesdays and Fridays.Just in case this series needed another subplot. “I never talked about it,” Te’o said when quizzed about his hit on Williams. “He’s a great player. We’ll have to see what happens on Saturday.”I’ve been lucky enough to play against him a couple of times. We’re both at 12 but whether we meet on the field who knows what’s going to happen. I’m wary of his abilities and I know what he can do in big games I’ve seen it before. We’ll be preparing well for it.”Te’o has made a career out of being comfortable in his confines and switching allegiances – from Junior Kiwis to Queensland, Australia and, now, England – so running out in his city of birth for the opposition is just another day.There’s no nostalgia about Te’o  – not outwardly at least. Playing rugby at North Harbour Stadium as a teenager sits firmly in the past, and while his parents still live in Whangaparaoa, there’s no questioning where loyalties lie this week.”I lived here a long time ago. I grew up just up the road and played a bit of rugby here in this stadium so I know it well. I left here at 17 and I’ve gone on a long journey. I’m here now with the Lions. I wouldn’t say it’s anything different.”I’ve got some family here and they’re looking forward to the game. They’ll be kitted out in Lions gear – they know who to support.”Te’o has been one of the success stories of the Lions tour. Warren Gatland picked him after one starting test for England, and most assumed he would play a bit-part role off the bench. Instead, his direct presence fits perfectly into Gatland’s plans.From being somewhat shocked by his initial call-up, Te’o’s consistent performances have relegated Irish second five-eighth Robbie Henshaw to Lions the mid-week team. And with numbers like nine clean breaks, 14 defenders beaten and 200 metres, it’s easy to see why he will link with Welsh centre Jonathan Davies against the All Blacks.”Once I got on the plane I realised every opportunity I get I have to try and seize. Every game was a trial match. I’m happy I’ve done enough for the coaches to show enough faith to play me but it’s only the beginning now. The real test is coming on Saturday and I’m fully aware of what’s coming.”From the outset Gatland made it clear he believed Te’o possessed a much broader range of skills than he is often given credit for.The man himself, though, is more than happy just to play his role.”I understand what I am. It’s not like I can go out there and throw a couple of kicks and long balls and turnaround and say ‘I told you I can play like that’.”I do what I feel comfortable with and what my strengths are and I’m fine with that. Whatever people say it doesn’t bother me anymore. I’m probably too far down the track in my career to be worrying about what people say. All I can do is bring my strengths and try add it to the team.”If they want me to truck it up, I’ll truck it up. If they want me to do something else they’ll let me know.”Having played in seven State of Origin matches and won an NRL Premiership with Souths, Te’o is unlikely to be overawed by the first test occasion.But out of the corner of his eye, he might want to watch for Williams to level the ledger.last_img

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