Sonny Bill Williams to play for Ponsonby in Auckland club rugby

Sonny Bill Williams will play club rugby for Ponsonby in Auckland this weekend Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Sonny Bill Williams will run out in Auckland club rugby this weekend in a bid to push his Rugby World Cup case after an injury-riddled Super Rugby season.

And he will do so for one of world rugby's most famous clubs, Ponsonby, who lay claim to having the most number of All Blacks on their books.

Williams has been named at No. 12 for Ponsonby's game against the Grammar TEC club in Auckland's top division, the code-hopper joining a list of 20 other All Blacks who have played for the Ponies having already represented New Zealand.

But should he be chosen for the All Blacks after this weekend, likely for the upcoming Rugby Championship, Williams would become Ponsonby's 47th official Test representative, which, according to club historian Paul Neazor, would put them two clear of Otago University.

It is believed Williams could play as many as three matches for the Ponies after he featured in just six of the Blues' 16 Super Rugby games this season. The veteran centre was forced to undergo knee surgery midway through the year and only returned for the Blues' final-round loss to the Hurricanes in Wellington.

Williams is attempting to make his third straight World Cup after he was a part of the All Blacks squads that won both the 2011 and 2015 editions of rugby's global showpiece.

But he faces his greatest challenge yet to do so with Jack Goodhue and Anton Lienert-Brown considered certain starters in the midfield, leaving Williams battling with Ryan Crotty and Ngani Laumape for one, or perhaps two, other centre spots.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen had previously signalled that if Williams was fit enough he would likely be taken on the plane, given the code-hopper had proven his worth at Test level previously.

Some valuable game time with Ponsonby will help serve that process nicely while Williams' injection into the Auckland club scene will be a real shot in the arm for the game in the City of Sails.

Ponsonby is where the Ioane brothers, Akira and Rieko, played their club rugby growing up.