All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has confirmed that Sonny Bill Williams will join the rest of the squad on the end-of-year tour even though he might not even play in any of the test.
Williams has been given special permission to play for the All Blacks on his return from rugby league although he would have not played in the ITM Cup.
“I didn’t come out and ask for an exemption,” Hansen told New Zealand’s Radio Sport.
“What I asked for was I’d like to take him on the end of year tour.”
Williams will only be able to return to the 15-man code once his club Sydney Roosters are no longer in the title race.
“So they (the board) have decided in their wisdom to get rid of that (grey area) like they did with Luke McAllister when he came back,” added Hansen.
“The reasons we want to take him on the end of year tour is because there are very limited Test matches between now and the World Cup.
”If he was to be in a successful Chiefs side next year and they were playing in the final, for example, then he wouldn’t be available for some of those test matches.”
Hansen wants Williams to get familiar with the All Blacks system and that was the main reason for rushing him back into Test rugby.
”Not so much back in the ways of rugby, because I think he will pick that up very quickly… he has all of Super Rugby to do that, but it’s getting back into the way we do things which is subtly different – we have seen that with all the players.” “We don’t know what physical shape he will be in,” said the coach.
“He may come on the tour and not play any games, he may play, we’ll have to see.He is coming back, he’s not leaving. You have a quality, world class player at your disposal.
”Our job is to pick the best team … he is going to be one of the best players so you pick him.”