Sonny Bill Williams returns home early from sevens trip with 'irritable knee'

NZ Rugby

Sevens coach Sir Gordon Tietjens talks about SBW and his team's early exit in Los Vegas

All Black sevens star Sonny Bill Williams is returning home for treatment to a swollen knee and will miss next weekend's Canada Sevens in Vancouver.

Williams did not play in the Las Vegas sevens at the weekend after the knee problem flared up, coach Sir Gordon Tietjens said.

He described it as an "irritable knee" and said Williams had not been well enough to play in Las Vegas, where New Zealand was knocked out in the quarterfinals by South Africa.

Sonny Bill Williams is returning to New Zealand after a leg injury ruled him out of the Canada Sevens.
Maarten Holl/Fairfax NZ

Sonny Bill Williams is returning to New Zealand after a leg injury ruled him out of the Canada Sevens.

"The swelling really had not gone down so we elected to leave him out of Canada next week as well."

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Tietjens said the knee sometimes swelled with fluid buildup. "He had it drained and since then it's been good all week, but just after training yesterday (Saturday NZT) it was not as good as we would like so he pulled out and it swelled up again this morning so we elected to leave him out of Canada and go home and get it right."

Sky Sport

South Africa have beaten New Zealand at the Las Vegas sevens leg, advancing to the semi-final.

Management were not prepared to risk playing him in Vancouver where the artificial turf could cause aggravation, Tietjens said.

"We therefore thought it was best he return home and get the right treatment and support he needs to speed his recovery."

That decision was made in the interests of having him right for the Singapore Sevens and Hong Kong Sevens in April.

He has been replaced in the team by Bay of Plenty's Teddy Stanaway, who made his debut at the Cape Town Sevens in December.

New Zealand were beaten 14-7 by South Africa in their Las Vegas quarterfinal after an earlier shock loss to Kenya.

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