Wellington - Sonny Bill Williams was named
on Thursday in New Zealand's squad for next week's Hong Kong Sevens after
shaking off a knee injury that sidelined him for two tournaments.
The cross-code superstar is participating
in this year's World Sevens series with an eye on making the Rio Olympics when
the shortened version makes its Games' debut in August.
Coach Gordon Tietjens said the 30-year-old
was raring to go after a swollen knee kept him out of the Las Vegas and
Vancouver legs of World Sevens Series.
"Sonny is coming off the back of two
very good tournaments in Sydney and Wellington and wants to get back into
it," Tietjens said after naming him in his 14-man squad for the next two
legs of the series in Hong Kong (April 8-10) and Singapore (April 16-17).
"He's been training well and will be
looking forward to Hong Kong."
Williams contributed to New Zealand's Rugby
World Cup victories in 2011 and 2015, as well as winning a Super Rugby title
with the Chiefs in 2012.
He also has two rugby league premierships
from Australia's NRL in the trophy cabinet and successfully dabbled in boxing,
winning all seven of his heavyweight bouts.
However, he has said he rates becoming an
Olympian as the greatest feat an athlete could achieve.
Tietjens said Williams was working hard and
loved the Sevens culture, adding the excitement surrounding the Olympics was
building for everyone as the Sevens series progresses.
"All teams can sense we're not far
away from Rio," he said. "They're still trialling different players
and that's what we've done here. We all want to improve at every
New Zealand are currently third in the
World Sevens standings behind Fiji and South Africa.