Sonny Bill Williams’ wretched year went from bad to worse on Saturday as the two-times Rugby World Cup winner for New Zealand appears likely to have finished an injury-plagued campaign with a shoulder issue. The 33-year-old lasted just 30 minutes of the All Blacks’ 16-15 victory over England at Twickenham before he left the field and coach Steve Hansen said the Auckland Blues centre would not be back for this week’s Test match with Ireland in Dublin. “He’s got a grade one AC [separated] shoulder,” Hansen told reporters. “He may be [out] for a week, maybe two.” The All Blacks face world No 2 Ireland this week, with their likely strongest possible side, before they end their endof-year Tests schedule against Italy in Rome on November 24. The imposing inside centre was unlikely to have played against the Azzurri anyway, as Hansen had intended to give his fringe players game time on their end-of-season tour as he fine-tunes his Rugby World Cup plans. Hansen said it was too early to dete...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now