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NZRU bends rules to clear the way for Sonny Bill Williams' All Blacks return

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand - New Zealand rugby has opened the way for code-hopping star Sonny Bill Williams to return to the All Blacks, ruling he will not have to play a match to be considered for the team's November tour to the United States and Europe.

NZRU rules require a player to take part in a domestic competition — Super Rugby or the National Championships — before being considered for All Blacks selection in the same season.

The NZRU board has agreed to waive that requirement in Williams' case, making him available if selectors choose to pick him when he returns to rugby from rugby league next month.

Williams left All Blacks after the 2011 World Cup final and has played the last two seasons for the Sydney Roosters in Australia's National Rugby League.

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