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Sonny Bill in doubt for Rugby Championship opener

Sonny Bill Williams is in doubt for the opening fixture of the Rugby Championship as he recovers from a shoulder injury.

This means the injury will also likely keep him out for the remainder of the Blues’ Super Rugby campaign.

Williams didn’t feature in the Blues’ first home win of the season last night after picking up an AC joint injury in the All Blacks’ third Test against France.

He rushed back and made a surprise return from a knee injury just to appear in that third Test, where he lasted 60 minutes before going down again with the shoulder injury.

Blues coach Tana Umaga admitted that Williams’ availability moving forward was uncertain after last night’s Super Rugby victory over the Queensland Reds.

The 32-year-old midfielder – the oldest current All Black – has had injury issues since the 2016 summer Olympics, when he ruptured his achilles playing sevens.

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Williams managed just six games for the Blues last season and has featured in just five matches for the side this year after dealing with arm and knee injuries.

However, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen told Fairfax that he isn’t concerned about Williams’ durability.

“I think he’s durable enough,” Hansen said.

“He’s just not having any luck at the moment.

“They’re not muscle injuries, they’re impact injuries so that’ll turn. He’s fine, we’re very happy with where he’s at.”

Meanwhile, Williams announced yesterday the birth of his third child – a son named Zaid Williams.

The All Blacks open their Rugby Championship campaign in Sydney with a Bledisloe Cup clash against the Wallabies on August 18.

In other news:

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Sonny Bill in doubt for Rugby Championship opener