Friday, 10 August 2012
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen is "99 per cent sure" that Sonny Bill Williams will be available for the opening Rugby Championship Tests against Australia.
Williams, who leaves to begin a contract with Japanese club Panasonic next month, was a notable absentee from All Blacks training in Auckland on Friday.
Panasonic are still to officially clear Williams to play the Wallabies in Sydney on August 18 and Auckland on August 25 that would push back the start of his lucrative Japanese stint.
Hansen told reporters he remained "99 per cent sure" the paperwork would be completed to clear Williams.
"There's no point us panicking. We'll have it sorted by hopefully the weekend and then he'll be into it," Hansen said.
The Wallabies this week said they were planning to face an All Blacks side that featured Williams in the No.12 jersey.
The All Blacks were to play two 20-minute matches in Pukekohe on Friday night, against Auckland and Counties Manukau.
Hansen is anxious for players short of match fitness to be given a decent workout in the matches.
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