14 May 2017

SBW back for the Blues

5:11 am on 14 May 2017

The All Blacks midfield back Sonny Bill Williams has been cleared of concussion and has flown with the Blues to South Africa for next week's match against the Stormers in Cape Town.

Williams suffered a knee to the head during the win over the New South Wales Waratahs in Sydney last week and missed Friday night's 50-32 home win over the Cheetahs.

He is expected to start at second-five against the Stormers as the Blues look to keep their playoffs hopes alive in the hugely competitive New Zealand conference.

Sonny Bill Williams of the Blues is tackled by Beauden Barrett and Ngani Laumape of the Hurricanes.

Sonny Bill Williams. Photo: Photosport

The Blues have lost two players for the Cape Town match, however, with prop Pauliasi Manu and first five Ihaia West both injured in the win over the Cheetahs.

Manu left the field early with a calf problem while West strained his ankle when he came on as a substitute for Piers Francis who was injured in the first half.

Manu has been replaced by Sione Mafileo, with Bryn Gatland, the son of British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland, re-joining the Blues as a replacement for West.

Francis was considered fit enough to travel with the squad.

The Blues' sixth win for the season has them on 31 points, one shy of the Highlanders, who hold the last available of the three wildcard berths for the playoffs in the Australasian conference.