Blues star Sonny Bill Williams to be granted special clearance for sponsor-free jersey

Sonny Bill Williams is reportedly on the verge of being permitted to wear an exclusively designed jersey which omits two of New Zealand Rugby and the Blues' major sponsors.

Williams took to the field for his Blues debut last weekend with tape covering the collar in order to hide the BNZ logo, an objection made due to his religious beliefs as a practicing Muslim.

His left sleeve was also rolled up in order to obscure the Investic logo.

According to reports by NZME, the 31-year-old is set to be given a jersey without the BNZ and Investic logos which he will wear for the remainder of the Super Rugby season, as well as some training kit which also has both removed.

The midfielder trained today with the Blues wearing a team sweatshirt rather than the standard issue team training kit which features both sponsors.

Both the BNZ and South African company Investic are said to be sympathetic towards Williams' cause, with the delay in confirming the new jersey put down to the time difference with Africa.

It’s understood that while the BNZ logos on the collar and the Investic will be removed, it will still feature the Super Rugby logo which includes Investic within it as the principal sponsor on the right sleeve, as well as insurance company NIB on the stomach.

New Zealand Rugby has clarified that all player contracts include a clause which permits them to opt out of promoting alcohol, tobacco, finance, and gambling companies, as well as banks.