All Black Sonny Bill Williams will fight Australian millionaire pub owner Stu Laundy in what shapes as a gentle return to the ring after a nearly four-year absence.

Laundy, 44, is a reality TV celebrity in Australia having appeared on The Bachelorette last year.

Williams, 33, boasts a 7-0 professional record and is a former New Zealand heavyweight champion.

His last fight was against American Chauncy Welliver in Sydney in early 2015.

“I’m looking forward to getting back in the ring again. I know this will be a hard fight for me,” Williams said.

The fight will be on 1 December in Sydney, the weekend after the All Blacks’ final Test of the year, against Italy in Rome.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has received assurances from Williams and his agent Khoder Nasser that Williams won’t be compromised, with rugby taking priority over boxing training throughout a five-week tour of Japan and Europe.

Williams has battled wrist, knee and shoulder injuries this season.

His lone Test appearance came against France three months ago before limping off injured in the second half.

He was due to return against South Africa last week but withdrew with tonsilitis.

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