Super Rugby
SBW to miss potential Nonu clash
ESPNscrum Staff
June 14, 2011
Crusaders centre Sonny Bill Williams passes inside, Crusaders training session, Royal Artillery Company, London, England, March 23, 2011
Williams has been a sensation since his switch from rugby league © Getty Images

Sonny Bill Williams will miss the Crusaders clash against the Hurricanes on Saturday, ruling out a matchup between him and fellow All Black centre Ma'a Nonu.

The Crusaders clash with the Hurricanes had the compelling subplot of both titanic centres facing up against each other ahead of World Cup selection. However, deep bruising in Williams' muscle tissue of his hip means the world-class centre will sit out the tie. Williams picked up the injury against the Blues on Saturday after he was on the wrong end of a hit from Benson Stanley.

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder opted to rest 25-year-old Williams and preserve him for a potential semi-final on either July 1 or 2. "He (Williams) has been in a tremendous head space," said Blackadder. "I think he is a bit gutted; he just wants to put a good performance out on the field and his body is sort of letting him down at the moment."

A win against the Hurricanes on Saturday would come as a welcome boost to Blackadder who has a number of injuries in key positions. If they finish second then they will be granted an extra bye weekend, meaning influential captain Richie McCaw could make a re-appearance along with eight-try scorer Sean Maitland. Ryan Crotty looks set to replace Williams in the Crusaders starting XV for the match against the Hurricanes.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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