Sonny Bill Williams

How SBW gets back for Bledisloe

Williams has already missed two matches owing to the ban, the deciding Lions test and the Blues' Super Rugby loss to the Sunwolves in Tokyo last weekend.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen told Radio Sport on Thursday that Williams will miss a Counties Manukau pre-season game and potentially a club match to serve out the ban handed down for the red card offence.

Hansen said the club game was a bit contentious over whether it qualified for the ban.

Four-week ban for Sonny Bill Williams

The cross-code star was sent off with just 25 minutes on the clock during Saturday's match, after catching Lions wing Anthony Watson flush on the head with a shoulder charge.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen confirmed Williams would plead guilty to a charge of unnecessary contact with the head when he faced a hearing at the New Zealand Rugby offices in Wellington on Sunday.

That hearing resulted in a four-week suspension being imposed on the centre, whose place in the All Blacks' squad for next weekend's decisive third Test has been taken by Malakai Fekitoa.

SBW to face judiciary this afternoon

The star All Blacks midfielder became the first New Zealand player in 50 years to receive a red card, sent off by referee Jerome Garces in his side's 24-21 second-Test loss to the Lions in Wellington.

Williams was sent for an early shower in the 25th minute after a crunching shoulder charge that struck Lions winger Anthony Watson flush in the face.

After a period of discussion with his assistant referees and TMO George Ayoub, Garces said he was left with no choice but to brandish red.

Ben Te'o braced for Sonny Bill Williams

Te'o leads the clashes between the cross-code converts 3-2, and holds the historical upper hand after landing a big shot last time they meet in the 2014 NRL preliminary final.

Prior to it being banned, Williams rose to fame on the back of his impeccable timing when laying on shoulder charges during his successful NRL career.

But last time out, Te'o got one back with an illegal shot of his own on Williams.

Three years on, the Kiwi-born midfielders are sure to again come to blows at Eden Park in the first test between the All Blacks and Lions on Saturday.

Williams, Perofeta named to face Lions

Perofeta made his Super Rugby debut for the side in Apia last week, coming off the bench in the second half.

Coach Tana Umaga said Perofeta's performance in that game earned him a spot in the squad named to face The Lions.

"It's an opportunity for Stevie to step up, we think that he's ready to do that, he has a lot of experience and support around him.

"His skill set belies his age, he could have been on tour with the under 20s but we kept him behind, we just want to make sure he keeps developing, and he's earned the right to start for us this week," Umaga said.

Sonny Bill Williams sports his new jersey for Blues against Hurricanes

Sonny Bill Williams sported his newly-designed Blues jersey at Auckland's Eden Park tonight in his side's Super Rugby match against the Hurricanes.

The jersey was adorned with the Plunket logo stitched on to both sides of the collar.

New Zealand Rugby and the Blues this week to Williams' request to have advertising from BNZ and Investec removed from his jersey.

Williams raised eyebrows last week when he taped over the BNZ logo on the collar of his Blues jersey.

SBW made a mistake

Williams covered up the BNZ logo on his blues jersey in their match against the Highlanders last weekend due to religious beliefs.

NZR and the Blues have now given him permission have the logos of two banks, BNZ and Investec, removed from his kit.

NZR General Manager of Rugby, Neil Sorenson, said conscientious objections have

been in the collective employment agreement for almost ten years.

Sonny Bill Williams' jersey sponsor cover up attracts international attention

The rugby superstar, who gave no warning of his actions as he appeared off the Blues bench last Saturday, is yet to explain his stance but if his intention was to draw attention to the issue, he has certainly achieved that.

The story has been followed closely in Australia and South Africa, the partnering countries to New Zealand in Super Rugby, but the issue has gone wider than that.

The Irish Times noted Williams' stance in their latest rugby wrap and drew an analogy with boxing legend Muhammad Ali in a piece headlined: SBW – Islam versus Banking.

No resolution to SBW and sponsor's logo

A statement issued by the Blues this morning says they and New Zealand rugby have been in discussions with sponsors BNZ and will announce the outcome of those shortly.The statement said neither the Blues nor Williams will be making any comment prior to that.

Under their collective contract players can lodge conscientious objections to promoting finance, alcohol, tobacco, gambling companies and banks.

Blues don't know why Williams taped up logo

The taped-up collar was obvious when the All Black centre came off the bench in the Blues game against the Highlanders in Dunedin on Saturday night.

It was understood Williams, who is Muslim, covered the logo for religious reasons.

Muslims believe the charging of interest is prohibited by the Quran.

As a part of their collective agreement any player can lodge a conscientious objection to promoting finance, alcohol, tobacco, gambling companies and banks.