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    All Black lock sent home in disgrace

    <DIV =LeadPara>FLAMBOYANT All Black lock Ali Williams has been sent packing in disgrace from South Africa by his Auckland Blues Super 14 team for offences including drinking before matches. </DIV>
    <DIV =LeadPara>Williams, who has struggled to get a starting place in the Blues this season, will miss this weekend’s Super 14 semi-final against the Sharks and the final if the Blues win in Durban. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>Blues chief executive Andy Dalton said the 26-year-old was guilty of a series of offences over recent weeks and the decision to send him home was made by team management and six senior players. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>"It’s unfortunately something that has been going on for quite some time," Dalton said. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>"We’re talking about weeks and weeks of a large number of misdemeanours where the guy has let down teammates, and let down himself, and the guys weren’t prepared to put up with it any longer," Dalton said. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>Several late-night drinking sessions in Perth ahead of the Blues’ match against the Western Force on Friday appear to have been the final straw, although Dalton did not go into details. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>Williams was also allegedly disrespectful of team mates, with Dalton saying he had been spoken to at least four times but did not improve his behaviour. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>The drinking sessions came to light as the team was boarding a plane in Sydney and Williams was told of the decision to send him home when the plane reached South Africa. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>All Black coach Graham Henry wouldn’t comment on how the incident would affect Williams’ hopes of adding to his 40 Test appearances against France in June. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>All Blacks manager Darren Shand said it was too early to say if any action would be taken. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>"It’s probably not appropriate for me to talk about All Black selection at this stage," Shand told New Zealand television. "We don’t know all the facts." </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>© Irish Examiner, 2007. Thomas Crosbie Media, TCH </DIV>
    Seas suas agus troid!

    #2


    ALI'S RUGBY FUTURE UP IN THE AIR
    <DIV =LeadPara>repeating H9795, changing second reference of ali williams to wiliams notnot ali </DIV>
    <DIV =LeadPara>Wellington, May 8 NZPA - All Blacks lock Ali Williams' rugby future is up in the air after he was sent home in disgrace by his Blues Super 14 rugby team. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>Williams flew to South Africa from Sydney with the team on Sunday and was told to go home for what Blues chief executive Andy Dalton described as behaviour issues, including late night drinking sessions and a lack of respect for team management. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>He is expected to face further action from the Blues and New Zealand Rugby Union. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>Dalton told a news conference yesterday that Williams ignored four separate warnings from the team management and that a number of senior players in the team were among those who decided to discard the lock, who was a certainty for the World Cup. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>All Blacks coach Graham Henry was understood to be frustrated and disappointed yesterday but he said All Blacks team manger Darren Shand would comment. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>Shand said William's behaviour was disappointing but he was awaiting more details. ``We don't know all the facts, all the details yet,'' he said. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>However, he indicated they hadn't given up on him even though he been in trouble before. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>Former All Black Alan Whetton said the fact that senior Blues players, including All Blacks Doug Howlett and Keven Mealamu, who had been touring with Williams had helped make the decision to send the player home should not be taken lightly. ``We've been hearing a few things on the grapevine over the last couple of weeks,'' the former Auckland assistant coach said. ``So it doesn't come as a complete surprise to me. It's pretty disappointing from Ali Williams' point of view. Those are some pretty senior players in the side who have done a lot of touring with him (who helped make the decision), so it's not an easy choice they've made and they wouldn't have thought about it lightly either. ``He must have really overstepped the boundaries and caused a lot of frustration and he's paid the price. It's a team game, it's not about Ali Williams.'' </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>The Blues management and six senior players decided they would not put up with Williams' loutish behaviour, particularly in Perth while they were preparing to play their season's make-or-break match against the Western Force last Friday. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>The Blues won the match to make the semifinal against the Sharks in Durban but Williams will miss that match and the final if the Blues qualify. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>Dalton said it was a series of misdemeanours rather than one incident of serious misconduct between Williams and another person that cost him his place. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>He said Williams had found it difficult to reintegrate into the Blues set-up since returning from the All Blacks reconditioning squad halfway through Super 14 but that didn't excuse his behaviour. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>Williams was spoken to on at least four occasions by either coach David Nucifora, manager Ant Strachan or by a team leadership group of six senior players about the incidents but continued to act inappropriately. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>Dalton did not want to get into specifics about the indiscretions but did say Williams had made an inappropriate remark towards a service worker and had been drinking prior to some matches, including Friday's 33-6 win against the Force in Perth. ``It's commonsense leading into a major game not to have gu
    Seas suas agus troid!

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      Excellence is hard to keep quite - Sherrie Coale

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