rio olympics

Rugby superstar Sonny Bill Williams out of Olympics with Achilles rupture

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 August, 2016, 2:43am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 August, 2016, 9:39am

There was shock news for sevens fans at the Rio Olympics as the men’s tournament kicked off, with New Zealand superstar Sonny Bill Williams ruled out with an achilles tendon injury.

He limped off as Japan stunned the Kiwis 14-12 in their opening pool C game.

"He suffered a partial Achilles rupture of the left Achilles tendon," a New Zealand Olympic team statement said. "He has been replaced by Sione Malia who is one of the New Zealand Olympic rugby sevens team's travelling reserves.”

WATCH: golden moments on Day 3 at Rio Olympics

Williams tweeted a picture of himself on crutches, saying "down but never out".

As rugby returns to the Olympics for the first time in 92 years, the two-time Rugby World Cup winner at 15s and the biggest name in the game, was one of the stars the tournament's organisers were hoping would delight newcomers to the sport.