How SBW gets back for Bledisloe

A mixture of pre-season fixtures and possibly a club game will count towards the four match ban Sonny Bill Williams must serve for his dangerous tackle in the second All Blacks test against the British and Irish Lions.

Williams has already missed two matches owing to the ban, the deciding Lions test and the Blues' Super Rugby loss to the Sunwolves in Tokyo last weekend.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen told Radio Sport on Thursday that Williams will miss a Counties Manukau pre-season game and potentially a club match to serve out the ban handed down for the red card offence.

Hansen said the club game was a bit contentious over whether it qualified for the ban.

"If that's not the case then we'll get him back just for the test match," Hansen said of Williams with an eye to the first Bledisloe Cup test against Australia in Sydney on August 19.

"If it is considered then we'll get him back for the game of three halves that we play every year before the [national provincial championship] and Bledisloe starts."

The game of three halves is a pre-season fixture against Taranaki and Counties Manukau one week before the Australia test and if the club rugby game doesn't count for the ban, then the pre-season game will.

Regardless of what game he comes back for, Williams will be in the mix for the Wallabies.

"He'll be considered," Hansen said.


Photo by: ANDREW CORNAGA/ PHOTOSPORT.NZ (Sonny Bill Williams should be available for the All Blacks for their first Bledisloe Cup match against Australia).