All Blacks young gun Anton Lienert-Brown braced for showdown against mentor Sonny Bill Williams

ALL BLACKS and Chiefs inside centre Anton Lienert-Brown is relishing switching from teammate to opposite number when he confronts the Blues’ Sonny Bill Williams in Auckland.

The 22-year-old Lienert-Brown learned plenty from Williams two years ago when he was finding his feet in Super Rugby at the Chiefs.

Williams, 31, has since shifted to the Blues and the international centres will lock horns in a key match at Eden Park on Friday.

Anton Lienert-Brown was a revelation in his debut season for the All Blacks.Source:Getty Images

The pair are strong contenders to win All Blacks selection for the series against the British and Irish Lions.

They could even be involved in a head-to-head for a starting jersey. However, Lienert-Brown is putting that issue to one side, keen simply to test himself against a former mentor.

“Sonny’s someone I look up to and he’s a class player,” he said.

“I learnt an immense amount off him not just on the field but off the field as well so I’m looking forward to that challenge this week.”

Sonny Bill Williams (C-L) has made a slow, but steady return to Super Rugby.Source:AFP

Lienert-Brown had a breakthrough season last year clocking up nine Tests.

He admits it has been a quieter season for him to date, producing a series of solid displays for a Chiefs team who have been beaten just twice.

His form hasn’t been helped by having to play with five different midfield partners but he’s making no excuses.

“I’ve been building and working hard all season to get better and slowly the confidence is starting to come back,” he said.

Originally published asAll Blacks young gun braced for SBW showdown

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