Rugby League World Cup: Sonny Bill Williams left out of New Zealand warm-up
Last Updated: October 15, 2013 1:25pm
Sonny Bill Williams must wait for Kiwi return
Sonny Bill Williams will have to wait another week to make his eagerly-awaited return for the Kiwis after being omitted from the side to play the Cook Islands in a World Cup warm-up match at Doncaster on Sunday.
Williams, a World Cup winner with the All Blacks in the 15-a-side game, was initially left out of the squad before performing a U-turn.
Melbourne Storm back-rower Tohu Harris the unlucky player to be cut, but although Williams is back in the squad he will not play on Sunday.
Coach Stephen Kearney has decided to rest the players involved in the NRL Grand Final which means the Sydney Roosters forward will go straight into his team for the opening match of New Zealand's World Cup defence against Samoa at Warrington on Sunday, October 27.
With Manly Sea Eagles scrum-half Keiran Foran also rested, former Wigan favourite Thomas Leuluai will partner his New Zealand Warriors team-mate Shaun Johnson at half-back.
The match does not carry Test-match status and both sides will play with a minimum of 18 players and unlimited interchange.
Team: J Hoffman;. J Nightingale, K Inu, D Whare, M Vatuvei; T Leuluai, S Johnson; J Bromwich, I Luke, S Kasiano, F Pritchard, S Mannering (capt), E Taylor. Replacements: G Eastwood, B Matulino, A Glenn, K Locke, B Goodwin.