SBW may yet be selected for All Blacks tests

DAVID LONG
Last updated 05:00 27/07/2012
Sonny Bill Williams
BEN CURRAN
RECALL? New Zealand Rugby Union boss Steve Tew has opened the door for a recall for Sonny Bill Williams to the All Blacks.

Relevant offers

All Blacks

Car signed by 200 All Blacks to be sold at auction All Blacks take oldest World Cup squad to England but youth could shine through Agony and ecstasy for All Blacks halfback Tawera Kerr-Barlow Live chat: Have your say on the 31-man All Blacks squad picked for the Rugby World Cup All Blacks Rugby World Cup squad naming: Five burning questions All Black Waisake Naholo's traditional healing raises scepticism in surgeon Waisake Naholo makes remarkable comeback as All Blacks squad named for Rugby World Cup All Blacks No 8 Kieran Read feels for his unwanted mates after squad announcement All Blacks believe eighth Rugby World Cup will be most difficult to win All Blacks Rugby World Cup squad announcement 'not politicised': PM

New Zealand Rugby Union boss Steve Tew has opened the door for a recall for Sonny Bill Williams to the All Blacks.

The Chiefs midfielder has announced he is off to Japan later in the year before returning to the NRL in 2013.

The NZRU and All Blacks coaches have previously said they wouldn't consider him for selection for the Rugby Championship because of his impending departure.

But as Conrad Smith has been ruled out of the next three tests because of an eye injury and Richard Kahui is still six months away from playing again, the All Blacks have been left short on depth in the midfield.

It would be a big call to select a player who is about to cut ties with New Zealand rugby, but Tew said last night the coaches are able to select him.

“He is not definitely unavailable,” Tew said.

“There is a significant selection meeting this weekend after we know one more team is out of the knockout, so I wouldn't rule it out, because he is still eligible and contracted to New Zealand, but that's a matter for the selectors.

“I guess if the selectors want him then the conversation will be if he has got time to play in the competition before he goes up to Japan.”

The NZRU held a board meeting in Wellington yesterday and in it Tew gave an update on its financial situation, saying it was on track to deliver a break-even result for the year.

Tew also rubbished reports that the NZRU is about to secure a new jersey sponsor for the All Blacks.

“We weren't recommending to the board that there would be a sponsor on the front of the All Blacks jersey, nor had a visit from a senior adidas official last month to tell us we couldn't do one,” he said.

Tew said work was still progressing on the possible leasing agreement for all of the Super Rugby franchises aside from the Highlanders. He also said there was no appetite from the NZRU to change the Super Rugby conference system, which has been criticised recently as the Reds were able to have a home playoff against the Sharks, despite having fewer competition points.

“This is year two of a five-year commitment to the current structure . . . we will conduct a comprehensive review of the way the competition has worked and certainly the information we've got from South Africa and Australia is consistent with where we're at."

Ad Feedback

- Fairfax Media

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who was the best-performed All Blacks forward on the northern tour?

Dane Coles

Nathan Harris

Keven Mealamu

Wyatt Crockett

Charlie Faumuina

Ben Franks

Owen Franks

Joe Moody

Brodie Retallick

Luke Romano

Jeremy Thrush

Patrick Tuipulotu

Sam Whitelock

Sam Cane

Jerome Kaino

Richie McCaw

Liam Messam

Kieran Read

Vitor Vito

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content