Sonny Bill Williams has appealed World Rugby's decision which has him set to miss the first Bledisloe Cup test.

The World Rugby Judiciary Committee decided not to include the All Blacks match on August 11 in the four week suspension given to Williams, following a hearing into the red card he received in the second Test against the touring British & Irish Lions.

It was initially hoped Williams' four-week suspension for his hit on Lions wing Anthony Watson, would be served in time for the August 19 test in Sydney.

But a World Rugby panel compromising three Australians - including former Wallabies David Croft and John Langford - deemed the All Blacks hit-out against Counties Manukau and Taranaki one week before the first Bledisloe was not worthy of a "match" and therefore ruled Williams out of the test.


In their statement, World Rugby said that "Following due consideration, the disciplinary committee has ruled that Williams' suspension will extend up to and including 19 August. As such, he is free to play again from 20 August."

At the judiciary hearing, the All Blacks claimed that Williams would play in pre-season for Counties Manukau against North Harbour, and in an inter-squad match involving a Counties B side.

While the Judicial Committee accepted that the game against North Harbour was meaningful, they were not satisfied that the inter-squad game on August 5 was set to "be a meaningful match" and would not "have had a meaningful playing consequence" for Williams, saying it was effectively "an internal club trial".

They then also rejected the All Blacks' "Game of three halves" against Counties and Taranaki.

"When viewed objectively, it is, in our opinion, a training match, or, as was referred to by [Williams'] counsel, a warm-up match," argued World Rugby.

The matter will now be decided by an Appeal Committee.