Wellington - All Blacks centre Sonny Bill Williams Swill appeal World
Rugby's decision to extend his suspension through to the Rugby Championship
opener against Australia in Sydney on August 19.
This, after the game's governing body ruled out two of the
three matches submitted as part of Williams' suspension - for his shoulder
charge on British and Irish Lions wing Anthony Watson in Wellington on July 1 -
confirming the 31-year-old's four-week ban would extend through until the first
Bledisloe Cup Test.
But New Zealand Rugby released a statement on Friday which
confirmed an appeal by Williams.
"Sonny Bill Williams has appealed the World Rugby
judicial committee's decision not to include the All Blacks match on 11 August
in the four-week suspension given to Williams following a hearing into the red
card he received in the second test against the touring British & Irish
Lions," the statement said.
"As the matter will now be decided by an appeal
committee, no further comment will be made at this time."
NZ Rugby had submitted matches in the form of All Blacks
warm-up game against Taranaki and Counties Manukau in Pukekohe on August 11, a
Counties inter-squad clash and an Mitre 10 Cup pre-season match as fixtures to
count in Williams' suspension.
But World Rugby released a statement which ruled that
Williams' suspension would need to extend to include the test against Australia
"Since the hearing on 2 July, the disciplinary
committee has been receiving and reviewing additional submissions and evidence
from the player's side relating to his upcoming schedule of matches," said
"Following due consideration, the disciplinary
committee has ruled that Williams' suspension will extend up to and including
19 August. As such, he is free to play again from 20 August."
Williams has already served two of the four matches of his
ban after sitting out the third Test against the Lions in Auckland and he also
missed the Blues' shock loss to the Sunwolves in Tokyo in the final round of Super
Rugby's regular season.