All Black centre Sonny Bill Williams will be available to face Australia in their Rugby Championship opener following a suspension hearing.
An appeal by Williams against the matches which a disciplinary committee counted towards his four-week suspension following his red card for dangerous charging contrary to Law 10.4(g) during the second New Zealand versus British and Irish Lions Test in Wellington on 1 July has been upheld by an appeal panel independent of World Rugby.
A game being played by New Zealand against Counties Manukau and Taranaki on 11 August that had been excluded from the suspension by the original disciplinary committee has now been deemed to comply with the regulations’ definition of a “match” and, as such, that match will be included as part of the player’s suspension. Accordingly, Williams is suspended from all forms of rugby up to and including 11 August.
The hearing took place on 1 August and was heard by an appeal committee that is independent of World Rugby, chaired by Mr Justice Graeme Mew (Canada) along with Shao-Ing Wang (Singapore) and Stefan Terblanche (South Africa).
Fans were not happy…
Imagine that!? One rule for one… 🙄 #shameful
— H (@BytheseaBill) August 3, 2017
Complete bias to New Zealand players once again what he did was reckless he should serve his punishment properly
— James Simpson (@jamessimpson268) August 3, 2017
Sonny Bill Williams has won his appeal
Wasn’t expecting that
— Paul Williams (@thepaulwilliams) August 3, 2017
SBW cleared to play the Wallabies pic.twitter.com/4Iz9q0cqGy
— Nett (@NeaffBird) August 3, 2017