16 Aug 2017

Sonny Bill returns from suspension

6:53 am on 16 August 2017

A fitter and more fired-up Sonny Bill Williams has returned to Sydney with a point to prove for the All Blacks after serving a four-game suspension.

Sonny Bill Williams training

Sonny Bill Williams training Photo: Photosport

Williams was sent off during New Zealand's second Test against the British and Irish Lions, after shoulder charging Lions wing Anthony Watson.

His comeback from the resultant ban came last weekend, when he played an hour for a Counties Manukau B outfit.

The divisive code hopper has been included in the All Blacks' squad for the Bledisloe Cup opener and is expected to be unleashed at ANZ Stadium on Saturday.

The former NRL superstar has put his time on the sidelines to good use, according to All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster.

"He's certainly raring to go," Foster said.

"He's done his four-game suspension. It's been an awkward time for him, it's been tough.

"But he's made sure that he has used that time smartly, he's trained well and been able to get on top of a couple of niggles.

"He's back charging around, you've got to sort of hold him back a little bit."

That won't be the case on the weekend, when Williams is set to tackle the Wallabies.

Williams knows ANZ Stadium well, having won NRL premierships with both Sydney Roosters and Canterbury Bulldogs.

"He said he didn't have the money to live in Double Bay so I don't think he knows this part of Sydney very well," Foster laughed.

All Blacks playmaker Beauden Barrett was full of praise for Williams' attitude during his suspension.

"He's as positive as ever," Barrett said.

"Even throughout the Lions series we saw that of Sonny, he got over it pretty quickly."