Williams still waiting in the wings
August 23, 2010
Sonny-Bill Williams tests the Lincoln University defence for Belfast, Belfast v Lincoln University, Canterbury Club rugby, Sheldon Park, Christchurch, New Zealand, August 7, 2010
Sonny Bill Williams has been limited to 50 minutes for club side Belfast since his return to New Zealand © Getty Images

Canterbury will continue their ITM Cup campaign without Sonny Bill Williams this weekend as the former league star is still not ready for his provincial bow.

The Cantabs take on Auckland in Christchurch on Saturday but coach Rob Penney has refused to throw Williams in at the deep end while he continues his recovery from a tight hamstring.

Since his return to New Zealand from Top 14 big-spenders Toulon, Williams has undergone minor knee surgery and also been sidelined by the hamstring problem he picked up while playing 50 minutes for Christchurch club side Belfast on August 7.

"It would be really unfair to make that call, for all sorts of reasons," Penney told Radio Sport. "He just hasn't had any game time under his belt so to expect him to come up and perform against a team like Auckland at this stage, I think would be a bit unusual and a bit unfair."

Williams may feature in a curtain-raiser for the Auckland game, involving club players, but may have to wait until Canterbury face Bay of Plenty on September 3 for his ITM bow.


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