Vaimoana Tapaleao is the New Zealand Herald's Pacific Affairs and People reporter.

All Blacks: Family first as Sonny Bill misses more parades

Sonny Bill Williams. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Sonny Bill Williams. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Sonny Bill Williams is expected to miss out on today's third All Blacks victory parade so he can be with a family member in hospital.

The rugby star was noticeably absent from the team's first parade in downtown Auckland on Monday and again yesterday when the players thanked fans in Christchurch.

The squad will today take to the streets of Wellington, but Williams is not expected to be with them.

He has a sick family member and spent Monday at Auckland City Hospital. He also made an impromptu visit to sick children in the adjacent Starship.

At the Christchurch parade yesterday, coach Graham Henry said the All Blacks' thoughts were with their teammate. "We're in touch with him. One of his relatives is ill."

Henry said he was sure the team's thoughts were with Williams and they sent their best wishes.

Auckland District Health Board said it could not release details about the family member.

On Monday night, Williams sent a message to his fans via Twitter, saying: "Thanks for all your support!"

His father in Sydney, John Williams, shared the story about his younger son with friends on Facebook. His link had the title: "Sonny Bill skips parade to visit Starship."

A relative commented: "The heart of you Sonny is larger than life itself. Love to everyone from us."

- NZ Herald

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