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Blow for New Zealand sevens as injury forces Sonny Bill Williams out of Rio 2016

Sonny Bill Williams has been ruled out of the Rio Olympics due to injury.

The New Zealand star was hurt during his team's shock 14-12 defeat against Japan on day one of the men's rugby sevens tournament at Deodoro Stadium.

The New Zealand Olympic Team announced on their official Twitter feed that Williams had suffered a "partial Achilles rupture" and has been replaced by Sione Molia.

The 31-year-old's tournament exit is a major blow for New Zealand and the competition as men's sevens rugby makes its Olympics bow.

Williams is one of rugby's biggest names, offering box-office potential, and he was among New Zealand's star performers when they won the Rugby World Cup last autumn.

But he now faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines as New Zealand look to regroup following a miserable opening result.

New Zealand are in the same group as Great Britain, with the countries due to meet on Wednesday ahead of potential quarter-final ties later that day.

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From Belfast Telegraph