NZRU boss Steve Tew confirmed that Sonny Bill Williams will be allowed to be selected for the upcoming Rugby Championship.
Williams has already announced his move to Japan after Super Rugby and a return to rugby league in 2013. The NZRU and All Blacks coaches have previously stated that they wouldn’t consider him for selection for the Rugby Championship because of his impending departure.
However, with Conrad Smith sidelined for six weeks with an eye injury and Richard Kahui ruled out for the rest of the season, there is a lack of depth in New Zealand’s centre department.
Tew said Williams will now be considered to help ease the All Blacks’ midfield injury situation, but added that it would depend on the selectors.
‘He is not definitely unavailable,’ Tew told stuff.co.nz. ‘There is a significant selection meeting this weekend after we know one more team is out of the knockout, so I wouldn’t rule it out, because he is still eligible and contracted to New Zealand, but that’s a matter for the selectors.
‘I guess if the selectors want him then the conversation will be if he has got time to play in the competition before he goes up to Japan.’