The Rugby Championship

Officials looking into possible Sonny Bill Williams concussion miss in Rugby Championship opener

Centre was not assessed during New Zealand’s 54-34 win over Australia on Saturday in Sydney

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 August, 2017, 1:11pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 August, 2017, 9:18pm

Southern hemisphere rugby’s governing body is looking into whether medical officials should have conducted concussion tests on New Zealand centre Sonny Bill Williams during Saturday’s Rugby Championship opener against Australia.

The 32-year-old stumbled badly after making a tackle early in the All Blacks’ 54-34 victory in Sydney and appeared disorientated before being involved in two more heavy collisions before play stopped.

However, he was not checked out by the team’s medical staff or the independent doctor employed to assess head injuries.

News Corp Australia said that Sanzaar had opened an investigation after reviewing footage of the incidents.

Williams appeared lucid in a television interview after Saturday’s game and All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said the following day that no one had noticed him suffering any adverse effects from the collisions.

Watch” New Zealand 54-34 Australia highlights

“I think everyone missed it to be fair, otherwise the HIA doc would have taken him off,” Hansen said referring to the Head Injury Assessment personnel.

“Our doc certainly would have taken him off.”

All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster said that Williams had not been pushed during training on Tuesday as a precaution but presented with no symptoms.

All Blacks crush Wallabies in Rugby Championship opener

“Sonny took a knock in the weekend but he was symptom-free,” Foster said in Dunedin.

“The doc has done what he always does when there is a suspicion of something. He was held back a little bit so we could make sure he was absolutely clear, but the signs are really positive.”