Sonny Bill cleared to face British Lions

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

Cape Town - All Blacks superstar Sonny Bill Williams has been cleared to start for the Blues against the British & Irish Lions at Eden Park in Auckland on Wednesday.

Kick-off is at 09:35 SA time.

According to the Stuff website, Williams passed all the necessary checks on his knee following Monday's main training hit-out and Tuesday's Captain's Run.

It's a match that should rubber-stamp Williams' inclusion in the All Blacks squad to prepare for the three-Test series against the Lions after the two-time World Cup winner has come through a stop-start season, complicated by a late return from his Achilles rupture and then short spells out with a head knock and then a knee complaint.

The Blues are the first of New Zealand's five Super Rugby teams to get a crack at the Lions and will be highly motivated after the disappointments of another Super Rugby season that has come up short of the playoff grade.

Blues coach Tana Umaga has named his strongest available line-up, consisting of eight All Blacks, including backs Williams, George Moala, Rieko Ioane and Augustine Pulu.

Hooker James Parsons will captain the team.

Teams:

Blues

15 Michael Collins, 14 Matt Duffie, 13 George Moala, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Stephen Perofeta, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Steven Luatua, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons (captain), 1 Ofa Tu’ungafasi

Substitutes: 16 Hame Faiva, 17 Alex Hodgman, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Kara Pryor, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Ihaia West, 23 TJ Faiane

British and Irish Lions

15 Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), 14 Jack Nowell (England), 13 Jared Payne (Ireland), 12 Robbie Henshaw (Ireland), 11 Elliot Daly (England), 10 Dan Biggar (Wales), 9 Rhys Webb (Wales), 8 CJ Stander (Ireland), 7 Justin Tipuric (Wales), 6 James Haskell (England), 5 Courtney Lawes (England), 4 Maro Itoje (England), 3 Dan Cole (England), 2 Ken Owens (captain, Wales), 1 Jack McGrath (Ireland)

Substitutes: 16 Rory Best (Ireland), 17 Joe Marler (England), 18 Kyle Sinckler (England), 19 Iain Henderson (Ireland), 20 Peter O'Mahony (Ireland), 21 Greig Laidlaw (Scotland), 22 Johnny Sexton (Ireland), 23 Liam Williams (Wales)
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