Sonny Bill Williams to miss New Zealand’s Test series against France

Sonny Bill Williams will miss New Zealand’s three-Test rugby series against France this month after sustaining a knee injury.

“Williams aggravated an old knee injury this week and (Auckland) Blues medical staff said an x-ray yesterday showed a loose piece of bone in his knee joint,” the All Blacks said in a statement on their website.

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“He will undergo keyhole surgery today in Auckland.

“Blues medical staff expect that Williams will be unable to train for around four weeks.”

Williams’ absence is a concern for All Blacks coach Steve Hansen, with Canterbury Crusader Ryan Crotty still battling concussion symptoms after a head clash against the Blues.

Crotty will miss the Waikato Chiefs game on Saturday, with the All Blacks assembling in Auckland the day after ahead of the first Test at Eden Park on June 9 – live on Sky Sports Action.

Williams and Crotty have been Hansen’s first-choice centre pairing since the 2015 Rugby World Cup.