New Zealand Sevens lose SBW to injury

Sonny Bill Williams will not represent New Zealand at the upcoming Canada Sevens in Vancouver due to a knee injury.

That was the word from All Blacks Sevens coach Sir Gordon Tietjens who said Williams had an “irritable knee” and wasn’t fit enough to participate in the Las Vegas Sevens where New Zealand were knocked out in the quarter-finals by South Africa.

“The swelling really had not gone down so we elected to leave him out of Canada next week as well,” Tietjens told Fairfax Media.

Tietjens said sometimes there was swelling on the knee with fluid buildup.

“He had it drained and since then it’s been good all week, but just after training yesterday (Saturday) 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,” he added.

Tietjens said the All Blacks Sevens’ management were not prepared to risk Williams in Vancouver where the artificial turf could aggravate the injury.

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

Williams has been replaced by Bay of Plenty’s Teddy Stanaway, who made his debut at the Cape Town Sevens in December.