sport news New Zealand recall centre Sonny Bill Williams after ban

Sonny Bill Williams is recalled to New Zealand duties after serving his four-match ban received during the All Blacks second test defeat by the British and Irish Lions in Wellington.

The New Zealand centre, who was dismissed in the defeat to the Lions back in July, became the first All Black to be shown a red card for almost half a century.

Williams was dismissed for a dangerous shoulder charge on Lions winger Anthony Watson in the penultimate test of the tied series, but was made available for selection after an appeal that allowed a 'three-way' warm-up game between two provincial teams and the All Blacks to count as part of his ban. 

Sonny Bill Williams has been recalled to the New Zealand team by coach Steve Hansen

Sonny Bill Williams has been recalled to the New Zealand team by coach Steve Hansen

And will start in the All Blacks opening Rugby Championship clash with Australia on Saturday

And will start in the All Blacks opening Rugby Championship clash with Australia on Saturday

It will be Williams' first All Blacks appearance since being dismissed against the Lions in July

The centre was shown red for a dangerous shoulder charge on Lions winger Anthony Watson

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen named the squad to face Australia in their Rugby Championship opener on Saturday and recalled Williams after serving his four-match suspension.

Damian McKenzie has also been awarded a start at fullback and centre and will win his third cap at Sydney's Olympic Stadium after Hansen decided to rest Israel Dagg and move Ben Smith to the right wing in his place.

'We feel that he (Dagg) could do with an extra week's preparation and Jordie Barrett is injured so it becomes obvious that Damian is going to be the next guy if we don't want to play Ben there,' Hansen said ahead of the clash down-under.

'And we didn't want to play Ben there, we want to play him on the wing. Damian's been in great form for his franchise and he's been

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