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Sonny Bill Williams appeals World Rugby panel decision

Sonny Bill Williams appeals World Rugby panel decision

Sonny Bill Williams has appealed World Rugby's decision which puts him out of New Zealand's first Bledisloe Cup game against Australia.

The World Rugby Judiciary Committee decided not to include the All Blacks match on August 11 - a warm-up game of 40 minutes each against two county sides - in the four-week suspension given to Williams.

The 31-year-old received a red card in the second Test against the touring British & Irish Lions for a hit on Lions wing Anthony Watson, but it was initially hoped Williams' four-week suspension would be served in time for the August 19 Test in Sydney.

But a World Rugby panel, compromising three Australians, deemed the All Blacks hit-out against Manukau and Taranaki one week before the first Bledisloe Cup clash was not worthy of a "match".

Unless the decision is overturned, Williams will miss the all-important Investec Rugby Championship opener.

In a statement, NZ Rugby said: "New Zealand Rugby has confirmed that Sonny Bill Williams has appealed the World Rugby judicial committee's decision not to include the All Blacks match on 11 August in the four-week suspension given to Williams following a hearing into the red card he received in the second Test against the touring British & Irish Lions.

"As the matter will now be decided by an appeal committee, no further comment will be made at this time."

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