New Zealand assistant coach Ian Foster played down rumours on the injury of Sonny Bill Williams ahead of the World Cup that kicks off this week.
Earlier, there were reports circulating in social media that the 34-year-old is ruled out of the showpiece event due to a calf injury but Foster denied the speculation.
“Is he going home? No. Is he available for selection based on his progression last week, then I think the answer is yes. He’s trained really well,” he told AFP.
Williams was sidelined with a calf injury that he suffered during the November series clash against England but managed to return for the Rugby Championship games against South Africa and Australia following which he was released to play in the Mitre 10 Cup by head coach Steve Hansen.
New Zealand will kick-start their World Cup campaign with a clash against South Africa in Yokohama on 21st September and Foster stressed on the need to start the tournament on a winning note.
“It doesn’t mean you’ve finished if you don’t get the result, of course it doesn’t. It’s a tournament. But that’s not the way we’re thinking,” Foster told reporters.
“We’re thinking this is an outstanding opportunity to go out there and test ourselves straightaway in this championship.”