Sonny Bill Williams will remain on tour, with the All Blacks hopeful he will be fit to play against Italy next week.

Williams lasted just 36 minutes when the All Blacks beat England 16-15 at Twickenham, with an AC joint injury removing him from play.

The 33-year-old won’t play against Ireland this week, and Ngani Laumape – who scored three tries against Japan last weekend – has been called in as cover.

“There’s a pretty good chance he’ll be right for Italy so he’ll stay but Ngani is coming over to make sure if we lose someone this week we’ve got someone,” All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said.

With Williams out, the All Blacks are expected to go with an all-Crusaders midfield pairing of Ryan Crotty and Jack Goodhue against Ireland.

Williams has struggled with fitness this year, appearing in just five Super Rugby matches and five tests while battling through a slew of wrist, knee and shoulder injuries.


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