All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has said that the deciding factor for Ali Williams being selected to tour was 75 tests of experience, despite the coach recognising that Williams did not have the ideal amount of match time behind him.
Williams was selected for the Air New Zealand End of Year tour, but curiously was selected as the fourth lock, meaning that the All Blacks selectors now view the likes of Brodie Retallick and Luke Romano as the new guard.
It appears Sam Whitelock is now recognised as the senior lock in New Zealand Rugby, but the Crusaders second row forward has played plenty of rugby this season so far.
Hansen said choosing the second row forwards had not been an easy decision.
"Obviously there has been a lot of debate about the fourth lock," Hansen said.
"It is a selection the three of us (selectors) spent a lot of time discussing. We came to the same conclusions we came to in June.
They said the fact that Williams was the second most capped All Blacks lock, only behind Ian Jones, that gave him the nod.
"We have a 75 Test veteran," Hansen said.
"Yes he hasn't played a lot of rugby because of injury but we know he has the mental capacity to do the job on the field.
"He brings with him a huge amount of experience and we know he is good at assisting the young guys. Retallick and Romano will benefit from that and hence why he has been selected."