New Zealand will have to do without Sonny Bill Williams for the three-Test series against France after the centre aggravated an old knee injury in training.
A scan on the problem has revealed a loose piece of bone in the knee joint and, after undergoing keyhole surgery, Williams is expected to be unable to train for at least four weeks.
The 32-year-old’s absence is a blow for the All Blacks, particularly with Ryan Crotty – Williams’ usual partner in the centres – battling to overcome concussion symptoms.
Coach Steve Hansen is also without influential skipper Kieran Read, who is continuing his recovery from back surgery, for the series on home soil.
The first Test against Les Bleus takes place in Auckland on June 9, followed by games in Wellington and Dunedin.
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) June 1, 2018
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