While injured All Black Sonny Bill Williams nears a return to the rugby field, a return to the boxing ring has been the headline stealer.
The 33-year-old will meet an undisclosed opponent at a December 1 charity event in Sydney.
The All Blacks play their final Test of the season on November 24, exactly one week before the fight is scheduled.
All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen weighed in on Williams’ fight.
“Look, from my understanding I think it’s a very, very low-key fight and it’s about raising money for the homeless in Sydney and for the Auckland City Mission,” Hansen said on Sunday.
“He [Williams] is pretty confident, I’ve spoken to Khoder [Nasser, Williams’ agent], Khoder’s confident that what’s going to take place won’t be of hindrance to him, so you’ve got to back their judgement and from what I understand it shouldn’t be too much of a task.”
Hansen also discussed the quick turnaround Williams will face after the All Blacks end their season.
“I think he’s just going to get off the plane [in Sydney] and do it. That’s the sort of athlete he is,” said Hansen.
“We’ve got guys boxing all the time, as part of their training. Again, my understanding of the fight is that it’s more of an exhibition fight.
“You’re probably better off having a good yarn to him about it, because he’ll be able to fill you in on all the details. But I don’t have any problem with him doing it.”
The All Blacks are currently in the middle of their Rugby Championship campaign, and will host South Africa at Westpac Stadium next weekend.
In other news:
Sign up to our mailing list here and we’ll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.