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A number of All Blacks released for club duty before departing for Argentina

NZ Herald

All Blacks midfielder Sonny Bill Williams has again been sidelined by injury a week after making his return at club rugby level.

Williams fronted for Ponsonby in their win against Grammar Tec last weekend after enduring another difficult, injury-disrupted Super Rugby season for the Blues which restricted him to three starts.

His final appearance against the Hurricanes in Wellington on June 15 came after a 10-week layoff following knee surgery.

The 33-year-old was expected to play for the side again this weekend, but has been ruled out due to a tight hamstring.

Williams was one of eight All Blacks who were released to play at club level if required this weekend.

New All Blacks loose forward Luke Jacobson will make his third appearance for Hautapu in as many weeks, looking to get more game time to his name after missing the end of the Chiefs’ Super Rugby campaign due to a concussion.

Fellow Chief Brodie Retallick has also been released and will be available for Central Hawke’s Bay this weekend.

Auckland will see a boost in All Blacks talent at the grassroots level this weekend, with Blues quintet Dalton Papalii (Pakuranga), Karl Tu’inukuafe (Takapuna), Ofa Tuungafasi (Grammar Tec), Patrick Tuipulotu (Ponsonby) and Rieko Ioane (Ponsonby) also released to their clubs.

The All Blacks squad will assemble again in Auckland on Tuesday afternoon for a camp before flying to Buenos Aires on Friday evening.

This article first appeared on nzherald.co.nz and is republished with permission. 

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A number of All Blacks released for club duty before departing for Argentina