Sonny Bill Williams

SBW receives ref apology for wrong yellow card

The experienced 44-test midfielder spoke for the first time following the Stade de France encounter, won 38-18 by the All Blacks, in Edinburgh on Thursday evening after the team naming for Saturday's (Sunday NZ time) clash against Scotland.

Williams took his brain-explosion play on the chin, after being yellow-carded and also conceding a penalty try when he batted away a French cross-kick in-goal, instead of attempting to catch the ball.

The play he made is standard in his former sport of rugby league, but not allowed in rugby.

Hansen: Ease up on SBW

Under-fire All Black Sonny Bill Williams has received some welcome backing after his Stade de France brain fade.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has gone in to bat for his embattled second five-eighth after he was widely lambasted for his knucklehead play early in the second half against France that saw him sinbinned, coughed up a penalty try and was the catalyst for the French to roar back from 31-5 to 31-18.

Lay off SBW: Hansen

Despite making 23 tackles in the All Blacks' 25-24 win over the Springboks in Cape Town on October 8, Williams has been blitzed by some critics who believe he has lost the ability to tickle-up opponents with the attacking skills that made him such a unique force at second five-eighth.

When All Blacks coach Hansen, having arrived in Brisbane on Monday night to prepare his team for the match against the Wallabies this weekend, was asked to provide an assessment of Williams' form he let rip.

'Fragile' SBW scared: Gallen

The fight has the potential to earn Gallen big dollars — some say in excess of $A500,000 (NZ$557,000) — but after striking a deal to fight SBW, it looks like falling over because of a dispute with broadcasters. But Gallen smells a rat. He is of the belief that SBW is dodging him.

"I think the issue here is that Sonny is worried about me," Gallen said. "I've watched him very closely this year and he is looking a bit fragile.

"He's had a couple of head knocks and I think they are worried about what will happen when I get hold of him.

Heat goes on SBW

Bumbling Sonny Bill Williams and brilliant Beauden Barrett grabbed the focus from an "extraordinary" Bledisloe Cup test as British media continue to put the microscope on the All Blacks.

The northern interest in the performance of Steve Hansen's side as only intensified in the wake of their drawn series with the British and Irish Lions.

And the British press couldn't have found a more contradiction to the tight tussle with the Lions than the 10-try extravaganza in Dunedin where the All Blacks sealed their comeback win two minutes from the finish with Barrett scoring.

All Blacks cleared over Sonny Bill

Williams took a blow to the head when making a tackle early in the All Blacks' 54-34 win over the Wallabies in Sydney on Saturday.

The 32-year-old appeared to be struggling after sustaining another couple of big impacts, but did not undergo the HIA protocols.

SANZAAR reviewed the incident and concluded that there had been no "deliberate failure" on the part of the world champions in the way they handled the situation.

SBW's Bombay outing

From Bombay to the Bledisloe Cup, it is hardly the ideal preparation to take on the Wallabies. 

But, after finally returning to the field, Sonny Bill Williams is hopeful it will be enough to see him get the nod for the All Blacks in Sydney next weekend.

The cross-code superstar made the first real on-field step to putting the past six weeks behind him with a 65-minute hit-out in a Counties B inter-squad match on Saturday.

A few hundred locals braved heavy rain at the Bombay Rugby Club near Pukekohe and 'SBW' did not disappoint.

Williams cleared to face Australia

The All Blacks centre was suspended for a dangerous tackle on Anthony Watson during the second Test against the British and Irish Lions last month.

World Rugby initially ruled that the dual-code powerhouse would not be available to face the Wallabies in Sydney on August 19, as that would serve as the last installment of his ban.

New Zealand Rugby argued that the world champions' match of two halves against Taranaki and Counties Manukau should count as one of the four "meaningful matches" he must miss.

The governing body has now ruled in favour of Williams.

No outcome on SBW appeal

Williams was appealing the four-match ban from the Lions series that rules him out of the first Bledisloe Cup clash against the Wallabies.

The All Blacks centre was handed the suspension for his second Test send-off against the British & Irish Lions earlier this month.

Williams became the first All Black in 50 years to be sent off in a Test when he was red-carded for a shoulder charge on Lions winger Anthony Watson early in the 24-21 loss in Wellington.

He missed the drawn third Test with the Lions, and the Blues' final Super Rugby match against the Sunwolves.

SBW, Gallen agree fight terms

The terms have been agreed between Williams' promoter, Khoder Nasser, and Gallen's people. They just need to work out where the fight will be shown in Australia.

Nasser has a meeting scheduled with Stan chief executive Mike Sneesby. Stan is an Australian streaming company launched in 2015 and is a joint venture ofNine Entertainment Co and Fairfax Media.