Rugby Championship

SANZAAR launches inquiry into SBW head knock

2017-08-22 11:21
Sonny Bill Williams (Getty Images)

Auckland - SANZAAR is looking into whether medical officials should have conducted concussion tests on All Blacks centre Sonny Bill Williams during the Rugby Championship opener against the Wallabies.

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According to both Reuters and the AAP, the 32-year-old stumbled after making a tackle early in New Zealand's 54-34 victory in Sydney.

He appeared disorientated, then was involved in two more heavy collisions before play stopped.

However, he was not checked by the team's medical staff or the independent doctor employed to assess head injuries.

Williams was coming off a four-match ban for his red card during the second Test against the British & Irish Lions and had one of his better Tests for the All Blacks, scoring a try in their bonus-point win.

News Corp Australia said on Tuesday that SANZAAR had opened an investigation after reviewing footage of the incidents.

All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster said that Williams had not been pushed at training on Tuesday as a precaution, but presented with no symptoms.

"Sonny took a knock in the weekend but he was symptom-free," Foster told reporters in Dunedin.

"The doc has done what he always does when there is a suspicion of something. He was held back a little bit today so we could make sure he was absolutely clear but the signs are really positive."

Williams appeared lucid in a television interview after Saturday's game and All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said the following day that no one had noticed him suffering any adverse effects from the collisions.

"I think everyone missed it to be fair, otherwise the HIA doc would have taken him off," Hansen told reporters referring to the Head Injury Assessment personnel.

"Our doc certainly would have taken him off."


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