World Rugby surprised by SBW decision

Sonny Bill Williams (Getty Images)
Sonny Bill Williams (Getty Images)

London - World Rugby has released a statement expressing its surprise at the decision to allow New Zealand centre Sonny Bill Williams to face Australia.

Williams had his independent hearing result confirmed on Thursday, which decided that his four-week suspension would include New Zealand's “match” against Counties Manukau and Taranaki on August 11.

The All Blacks will play 40 minutes against each team, and the panel decided that it constitutes an official match and counts towards his ban.

This has allowed Williams to take on Australia on Saturday, August 19.

It led to a response from World Rugby, who stated: "While World Rugby respects the decision of the independent appeal committee to uphold the appeal by New Zealand's Sonny Bill Williams against the matches that counted towards his four-week suspension, it is surprised by the committee’s interpretation of the definition of "match" (which is defined in Regulation 1 as "a game in which two teams compete against each other").

"With the appeal process having been exhausted, World Rugby will refer the interpretation of the regulation to the Regulations Committee when it meets in September to examine the findings in the context of the game’s regulations to ensure universal clarity and compliance with the meaning of the regulation moving forward."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
41% - 11415 votes
Cricket
12% - 3297 votes
Football
19% - 5147 votes
Athletics
3% - 693 votes
Boxing
1% - 268 votes
Cycling
2% - 640 votes
Golf
5% - 1411 votes
Motorsport
8% - 2335 votes
Tennis
3% - 924 votes
Water sports
1% - 245 votes
American sports
1% - 335 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 896 votes
Vote