WELLINGTON - Sonny Bill Williams says he has learned to shut out the kind of raucous reception likely to greet him in Sydney during tonight's Bledisloe Cup Test.
The All Blacks' inside centre will be making only his second competitive appearance in Sydney since controversially walking out on his Canterbury NRL contract in 2008.
Williams last appeared in the city when he represented the Barbarians against the Wallabies at the Sydney Football Stadium in June, 2009.
He has since managed to avoid Sydney during Super Rugby seasons with the Crusaders and Chiefs and suspected plenty of critics hadn't forgotten his four-year-old deed.
"I know this week there will be more spotlight on me because of that, but I'll just focus in on what I need to do," Williams told journalists.
"I've been around for a while now and that kind of stuff doesn't really faze me. I just get on with the job.
"I get that everywhere I go. Down at the Highlanders (in Dunedin), it wasn't too good."
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen expected some hostility towards Williams at the cavernous ANZ Stadium and also from the Sydney rugby league media.
"He's a special athlete, there's no doubt about that, so he probably deserves the attention," Hansen said.
"But the game itself is of big interest. Australia have pumped up the Bledisloe Cup all week. I don't think it will come down to Sonny Bill playing or not. It will come down to if the two teams can do justice to the occasion."