New Zealand assistant coach Ian Foster hails 'common sense' decision for Williams

New Zealand assistant coach Ian Foster thinks common sense won out in Sonny Bill Williams' appeal
New Zealand assistant coach Ian Foster thinks common sense won out in Sonny Bill Williams' appeal
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New Zealand assistant coach Ian Foster believes 'common sense' has prevailed after Sonny Bill Williams' appeal against the details of his four-match ban was ruled in his favour.

Williams became the first New Zealand player in 50 years to be sanctioned a red card during the second Test against British and Irish Lions in Wellington and was subsequently banned for four matches that included the Rugby Championship opening game against Australia in Sydney on 19th August.

However, following the appeal made by New Zealand Rugby and Williams, an independent appeal panel declared that the matches New Zealand play against Counties Manukau and Taranaki on 11th August which constitutes 40 minutes each will be part of his suspended games, thereby making him available to play from 12th August.

Speaking about the verdict, Foster believes the right decision has been made and is pleased for Williams, who had gone through a difficult phase.

"If people turn up to watch this game, does it look like a match? Of course it does," Foster told New Zealand's Radio Sport, with his comments being reported by www.allblacks.com.

"Is it meaningful? Yes it is. It's not a training run, and you think about the Counties and Taranaki players, they are going to be going for it. It's a great opportunity for them, and it's 80 minutes played under the normal laws of the game.

"From a common-sense perspective it is a game we play 80 minutes under the normal laws of rugby.

"We said that we've done this three or four times, so it is not like a one-off. It's not something that has been hastily organised. The reason we play two teams is because it actually makes the game harder for us.

"If someone gets sent off in this game then they have to go through the same process Sonny had to go through.

"For all intents and purposes, this is a match, and we just wanted the chance to express that and, fortunately for us, we felt that common-sense has prevailed."

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