New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen has dismissed calls for Sonny Bill Williams to be dropped as he defended the All Blacks veteran.
Williams has been criticised for his performances as world champions New Zealand prepare to face the Wallabies in Saturday's Bledisloe Cup at Suncorp Stadium.
Local media have been scathing of the 32-year-old – a two-time world champion – even after his 23 tackles in New Zealand's 25-24 win over South Africa in the Rugby Championship almost a fortnight ago.
Hansen, however, leapt to the defence of his under-fire centre ahead of the All Blacks' clash in Brisbane, saying: "He is playing well.
"When he is a flashy player everyone moans about him being too flashy, and that he doesn't do the hard work.
"At the moment, he is doing all the hard work and probably not as much as the other stuff that people get excited about.
"But he is in the leadership group, he is leading well and has a major influence on the young guys with his training habits.
"He is getting down and dirty and doing the hard work. We are quite happy with him."
"He is trying to make good decisions and sometimes, like all players, he gets them right and sometimes he doesn't," Hansen added.
"He has always been a player who has been loved by you blokes (in the media) or hated by you blokes. It is a 50-50 split. When he does things wrong all the haters get on top of it, and when he does things right all the good guys get on top of it.
"He is a good international rugby player."
|Bennett: Social media clip prompted Brown withdrawal|
|Memorable Ashes Moments: Anderson and Panesar defy Australia in Cardiff|
|Madrid confirm Ramos´ broken nose after derby clash|
|Kane wants to retire with Tottenham|
|Mourinho: Man United lacked balance with attacking line-up|
|Fleetwood wins Race to Dubai after Rose wilts, Rahm claims tournament win|
|Pastore not considering PSG exit to help World Cup chances|
|Wenger, Ozil & Sanchez uncertainty affecting Arsenal, says Seaman|
|Dhawan, Rahul lead India revival in Kolkata|
|Silva not surprised by Chelsea, Spurs interest in Richarlison|
|Ancelotti, Conte, Allegri on shortlist to replace Ventura|
|Bencic doubles up with Taipei title|
|Perth Glory 0 Melbourne Victory 2: Visitors claim first A-League win of season|
|Bayliss calls for A-team matches on Ashes tours|
|Smith will bowl in the Ashes, says Lehmann|
|Marcelo unaware of Ramos-Ronaldo rift at Real Madrid|
|England book Tonga semi with PNG win|
|Celtics win 15th straight, 76ers in collapse against Warriors|
|Lehmann tells Australia: Get behind the Ashes team|
|Goffin revels in career-best win after upstaging Federer|
|Neymar will take PSG´s next penalty - Cavani|
|Ranieri would consider coaching Italy|
|It´s been an amazing year - Federer signs off for 2017 after London exit|
|Postecoglou set for decision on Socceroos future|
|Celtics coach Stevens wants more despite 14-game streak|
|Kerr: What Embiid did against the Lakers was terrifying|
|Cook extends lead at RSM Classic|
|Frampton beats Garcia by unanimous decision in front of Canelo|
|Championship Review: Millwall deny sloppy Sunderland, Wolves back on top|
|Simeone rallies around under-fire Griezmann|
|Hogg and Barclay ´gutted´ to let All Blacks escape|
|It´s a growth process - Montella optimistic despite Napoli loss|
|Spalletti happy at Inter, tips Ancelotti for Italy job|
|Sarri defends sacked Ventura over Insigne´s Italy snub|
|Los Blank-os! Misfiring Real Madrid break new ground under Zidane|
|Zidane upbeat despite derby stalemate|
|Zidane unsure on Ramos absence with suspected broken nose|
|Mind the gap! Real Madrid must make history to retain LaLiga title|
|Dimitrov denies Sock to book Goffin showdown|
|Springboks gain measure of revenge over 2023 RWC hosts France|
|Alonso fuels Le Mans talk with WEC rookie test|
|Napoli 2 AC Milan 1: Insigne stars after Italy snub as leaders move four points clear|
|Atletico Madrid 0 Real Madrid 0: Defences dominate in historic derby|
|Wasps sting Falcons, Warriors off the mark|
|Montpellier take charge of Top 14 as Lyon slip up|
|Pjaca scores winner for Juventus Primavera on return from injury|
|Jones bristles at suggestion England ´got lucky´|
|Lions don´t recover like humans! - Ibrahimovic and Pogba thrilled to be back|
|Pogba was different class - Mourinho praises midfielder after impressive comeback|
|Competition is good – PSG boss Emery explains benching Mbappe|
|Klopp apologises after Moreno misses birth of child|
|Experimental Ireland XV survives Fiji scare|
|Cheika makes no excuses after controversial calls hurt Australia|
|Valiant Scotland fall short against clinical All Blacks|
|Manchester United 4 Newcastle United 1: Pogba shines as Ibrahimovic makes his return|
|Hodgson accuses Niasse of diving to win Everton penalty|
|´Why not?´ - Hazard believes Chelsea can catch City|
|Roma 2 Lazio 1: Nainggolan stunner proves decisive|
|Bournemouth hat-trick hero Wilson: I need to be selfish|
|Valverde admits scoreline in Leganes win was ´excessive´|
|Pulis leaves uncertain future to West Brom board|
|Results not far away for struggling Swansea, claims Clement|
|Heynckes proud of 500 Bundesliga wins as Bayern go six points clear|
|Al-Hilal 1 Urawa Red Diamonds 1: Rafael earns valuable first-leg draw|
|Stones could be set for six-week spell on sidelines|
|Paris Saint-Germain 4 Nantes 1: Cavani double puts hosts six clear|
|Guardiola delighted to maintain rhythm after international break|
|Woeful Sunderland set new record ahead of expected Coleman appointment|
|Suarez unmoved despite ending Barca drought|
|Cheika fumes as England claim controversial win over Wallabies|