Sonny Bill Williams starts for New Zealand against Aus­tralia

Weekend Mirror - - CHILDREN’S CORNER -

Sonny

Bill Williams will start at cen­tre in New Zealand’s Rugby Cham­pi­onship opener against Aus­tralia after com­plet­ing a four-match ban.

Williams, 32, was sent off in the sec­ond Lions Test and suc­cess­fully ap­pealed against a de­ci­sion not to in­clude a warm-up game in his ban.

Ex-Wasps back Kurt­ley Beale, 28, will make his first ap­pear­ance for Aus­tralia since the 2015 World Cup fi­nal.

Aus­tralia host hold­ers New Zealand in Sydney on Satur­day at 11:00 BST.

South Africa then face Ar­gentina in Port El­iz­a­beth at 16:00 BST.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has made six changes to the side that drew the third Test against the Bri­tish and Ir­ish Lions in July.

Ryan Crotty part­ners Williams at cen­tre, Damian McKen­zie comes in at full-back, Ben Smith and Rieko Ioane are named on the wings, while Liam Squire re­places Jerome Kaino at blind- side flanker.

Williams has not played since he was red carded for a shoul­der charge on Anthony Wat­son dur­ing the Lions’ sec­ond Test vic­tory over New Zealand on 1 July.

He was cleared to play against Aus­tralia after an in­de­pen­dent appeal com­mit­tee ruled a ‘game of three halves’ in­volv­ing pro­vin­cial sides and the All Blacks had suf­fi­cient mean­ing to be part of Williams’ sus­pen­sion.

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