Cape Town - Sonny Bill Williams played 20 minutes off the bench upon his return to rugby union as Counties Manukau beat Auckland 41-18 in their ITM Cup match in Pukekohe on Wednesday.
Williams, who spent two years with the Sydney Roosters in the NRL, has made a return to the XV-man code in New Zealand, playing for Tana Umaga's high-flying Steelers team.
Williams' selection resulted in an 8 500 strong crowd, Counties Manukau's biggest of the season.
Williams is expected to travel with the All Blacks on their end of year tour later this month and in November.
The All Blacks are scheduled to face the Wallabies in a "dead" Beldisloe Cup match in Brisbane on October 18, before heading off to play the USA (November 1), England (November 8), Scotland (November 15) and Wales (November 22).
Williams tweeted his joy on Wednesday: