Reports from New Zealand indicate that Sonny Bill Williams has signed a contract with a Japanese club and is highly unlikely to feature in the Rugby Championship.
The Herald on Sunday writes that Williams will shortly announce he has signed a one-season deal with Panasonic Wild Knights and then shift to the NRL – most likely with the Sydney Roosters – in early 2013.
Williams will have to report to the Knights by 30 August, which would allow him to play the first two Tests of the southern hemisphere showpiece, both against Australia. However, the paper says the 26-year-old will opt not to participate.
However, there is a strong possibility that he will return to union with the Chiefs in 2014 with an eye on helping the All Blacks defend their title at the 2015 World Cup.