8 Aug 2008

Sonny Bill named in NZ World Cup squad

2:16 pm on 8 August 2008

Sonny Bill Williams has been named in a 49-member New Zealand rugby league squad to prepare for the World Cup later this year despite the fact he's walked out on his Australian league club for a more lucrative contract with French rugby side Toulon.

A small army of barristers representing the Bulldogs and the NRL are at the New South Wales Supreme Court in Sydney today arguing for an injunction to prevent Williams playing rugby in France as early as tomorrow morning.

New Zealand Rugby League President Ray Haffenden admits Williams's position in the World Cup squad is not certain.

The Rugby League International Federation chairman and World Cup director Colin Love says Williams won't be allowed to play in the tournament, or any other international event, if he breaches his Bulldogs contract by playing rugby in France.

The Kiwis squad includes all 19 players involved in the Centenary Test preparations in Sydney on May 9 and is bolstered by the return Benji Marshall, Krisnan Inu, Manu Vatuvei, Jerome Ropati and Steve Matai, who were unavailable for that match.