Captaincy excites Williams
New Blues skipper Ali Williams is excited by the prospect of leading the Auckland-based outfit in this year's Super rugby tournament.
The 77-test veteran relishes the responsibility which comes with the captaincy and is determined to put the Blues back on track after they finished in 12th spot in 2012.
Williams admits that generating clear channels of communication would be his greatest challenge in his leadership position.
"When you're not a captain you find problems, but when you are a captain you find solutions," he told the New Zealand Herald.
"My big goal is to be in and help a winning team, not to be the superstar of the team.
"I've got a job that I've never done before that I have thoroughly enjoyed. I've also met a bunch of new guys that are very grounded, down to earth people that want to play for a region that really wants to put some pride back into itself."
Williams claims to be in the best shape of his life and wants to make the most of what he feels is a new chapter in his career.
"I'm the fittest I've ever been," he said.
"I still have to convert that to rugby fitness but in terms of energy and excitement levels, it's almost like a fresh start.
"Fitness wise there's a new level here.
"I'm impressed with the way that some of the guys who have been here for a bit longer have got up and said 'if not now then when, and if not me then who?' It's very exciting."
As a 31-year-old Williams knows there are major differences between the player he is today and the one who made his debut for the Blues in 2002.
"That guy was very keen and very green and had all the vision and hope of achieving things," he said.
"This guy knows that he needs to achieve more and can achieve more. I'm at the stage of my career where the thirst for what I need to achieve as an individual is less important to me than enhancing what the team achieves."