Sonny Bill Williams

SBW made a mistake

Williams covered up the BNZ logo on his blues jersey in their match against the Highlanders last weekend due to religious beliefs.

NZR and the Blues have now given him permission have the logos of two banks, BNZ and Investec, removed from his kit.

NZR General Manager of Rugby, Neil Sorenson, said conscientious objections have

been in the collective employment agreement for almost ten years.

Sonny Bill Williams' jersey sponsor cover up attracts international attention

The rugby superstar, who gave no warning of his actions as he appeared off the Blues bench last Saturday, is yet to explain his stance but if his intention was to draw attention to the issue, he has certainly achieved that.

The story has been followed closely in Australia and South Africa, the partnering countries to New Zealand in Super Rugby, but the issue has gone wider than that.

The Irish Times noted Williams' stance in their latest rugby wrap and drew an analogy with boxing legend Muhammad Ali in a piece headlined: SBW – Islam versus Banking.

No resolution to SBW and sponsor's logo

A statement issued by the Blues this morning says they and New Zealand rugby have been in discussions with sponsors BNZ and will announce the outcome of those shortly.The statement said neither the Blues nor Williams will be making any comment prior to that.

Under their collective contract players can lodge conscientious objections to promoting finance, alcohol, tobacco, gambling companies and banks.

Blues don't know why Williams taped up logo

The taped-up collar was obvious when the All Black centre came off the bench in the Blues game against the Highlanders in Dunedin on Saturday night.

It was understood Williams, who is Muslim, covered the logo for religious reasons.

Muslims believe the charging of interest is prohibited by the Quran.

As a part of their collective agreement any player can lodge a conscientious objection to promoting finance, alcohol, tobacco, gambling companies and banks.

SBW set for Blues debut

Williams hasn't played since rupturing his Achilles at the Rio Olympics in August.

He's one of three players welcomed back by the Blues with Steven Luatua returning after suspension and fellow loose forward Blake Gibson from injury.

All Black Rieko Ioane earns a recall to the starting line-up at centre after a big contribution off the bench in the win over the Western Force last weekend.

SBW’s return upon us

The Blues midfielder is available for selection for this weekend's Super Rugby match against the Highlanders in Dunedin.

Williams hasn't played rugby since rupturing his achilles tendon during the New Zealand Sevens' Rio Olympics campaign.

While the 31-year-old is considered fit to play, a minor foot injury could halt his return for another week.

RNZ reports the 23-man team will be named on Thursday.

Meanwhile the Blues first five troubles continue to go from bad to worse with Ihaia West ruled out for at least three weeks with an ankle injury.

Forget Sonny Bill Williams, Blues halfback Augustine Pulu could prove buy of the season

Every year the focus falls on the Blues No 10 jersey but the bloke inside him could prove more influential this season.

All the hype and expectation surrounding the Blues this year predominately emerged from the recruitment of Sonny Bill Williams. Now we know he won't feature for at least the first five weeks due to his recovery from an Achilles injury, Augustine Pulu could well prove a better piece of business.

Sonny Bill Williams lends Anthony Mundine $532,000 in handshake deal

The A$500,000 (NZD$532,000) loan came just before Mundine's recent fight against Danny Green, The Sunday Telegraph in Sydney reported.

There was no written agreement, just a handshake, the newspaper said.

It was the return of a favour, as Mundine gave Williams A$750,000 (NZD$800,000) in 2008 when Williams went to play rugby in France, leaving the Canterbury Bulldogs rugby league team.

"It's very hard to explain our brotherhood in words," Mundine said. "I didn't understand it until I became a Muslim. We trust and we love each other.

Sonny Bill Williams out of Olympics sevens

RNZ reports New Zealand suffered one of the biggest upsets in sevens history when they were beaten 14-12 by Japan.

In a double blow for the team Sonny Bill Williams has been ruled out of the tournament with a partial Achilles rupture. He has been replaced by Sione Molia.

Joe Webber also left the field with a suspected dislocated shoulder.

The New Zealanders struggled to get possession in the first half of the pool match against Japan - with the score 7-7 at half time - and Japan defended well after the break.

Sonny Bill set for All Blacks return

Williams is set to return from the Rio Games the week of the All Blacks second test against the Wallabies in Wellington on the 27th August.

Williams is joined in the midfield by Ryan Crotty, Malakai Fekitoa and George Moala, while Seta Taminivalu, who made his debut against Wales, misses out.