All Black Sonny Bill Williams missed the Rugby World Cup-winning team's ticker tape parade through Auckland's CBD yesterday because he was visiting sick relatives in hospital.
He also took time to visit sick children at the Starship hospital.
Williams, who made it onto the field as a replacement in Sunday night's final, was conspicuous by his absence as his teammates paraded up Queen St on the back of utes.
Auckland District Health Board spokesman Matt Rogers said the rugby player had a "couple of relatives" at Auckland City Hospital and had been visiting them at the time.
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Mr Rogers said that after the private visit, Williams had gone to the Starship children's hospital to sign autographs for sick youngsters there.
All Black management did not respond to the Herald's request for comment.