SBW to appeal suspension decision

SBW to appeal suspension decision

World Rugby confirmed Sonny Bill Williams will miss the first Bledisloe Cup Test between Australia and New Zealand with his ban set to run until August 20.

Williams is set to miss the first Bledisloe Cup match on August 19 as part of his four-week ban, World Rugby confirmed on Wednesday evening.

Williams was suspended for four matches after being sent off during the second test against the British and Irish Lions on July 1 for a unsafe shoulder charge on Lions winger Anthony Watson.

Williams, 31, became the first All Black in 50 years to be sent off in a Test match when he shoulder charged Watson in the 25th minute of the Lions game in Wellington.

Williams received a four-week suspension, equating to four meaningful matches, however, the NZR has released a statement saying it would fight the decision.

Williams has already served half of his suspension, sitting out the third Test against the Lions and Blues' last Super Rugby match of the season versus Sunwolves. However, New Zealand rugby have announced they will appeal the decision with the matter set to be decided in front of the Appeals Committee.

'Intuition' tells Pique that Neymar will stay with Barcelona
Gerard Pique concedes he does not know for sure whether Neymar will stay at Barcelona amid interest from Paris Saint-Germain. FC Barcelona have been linked with several attackers ever since the rumour of Neymar joining PSG became alive.

An inter-squad match involving Counties B and the All Blacks" "Game of Three Halves' against Counties and Taranaki have been dismissed by World Rugby.

The panel, which included two former Wallabies, said the match between the All Blacks and the Counties and Taranaki provinces was not 'meaningful'.

"Since the hearing on 2 July, the disciplinary committee has been receiving and reviewing additional submissions and evidence from the player's side relating to his upcoming schedule of matches", said the statement.

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen said earlier this month that he was confident the centre would be available to face Australia in Sydney on August 19.

A three-man judicial committee said the latter match was insufficiently meaningful and World Rugby said the ban would expire after the game against the Wallabies on August 19.

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