Sonny Bill Williams will not be wrapped in pre-World Cup cotton wool and is expected back on deck for the Chiefs next weekend against the Hurricanes, according to coach Dave Rennie.
The New Zealand international has been hampered by a back injury for the last few weeks and missed his side’s 24-3 triumph against the Queensland Reds in Brisbane on Saturday night.
News Corp reports claimed Williams had already played his last Super Rugby game this year, with the All Blacks keen to ensure he is in top shape for their Test campaign leading into the World Cup.
But Rennie said he was “confident” the 29-year-old will return in next weekend’s final round, which had long been the plan.
“He’ll play next week,” Rennie said following Saturday’s clash.
“It was always our target, the Hurricanes game.
“He’s had a little bit of a crook back, a disc problem.
“It’s taken a while to settle down.
“He ran pretty freely on Monday at training so he was a chance to play tonight but he just pulled up a little bit tight on the Tuesday, so we decided to give him one more week.
“In the end, I’m sure the All Blacks will want him to play some footy and get some form behind him.”