Sonny Bill Williams' Achilles injury may prove to be a blessing in disguise for the code-switching centre, according to All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.
Williams ruptured his tendon in New Zealand's opening match of the rugby sevens at Rio 2016, the Kiwis beaten 14-12 by Japan in Pool C.
The 31-year-old has since been ruled out for the current season, meaning he will not be able to switch back to the 15-a-side format for the Rugby Championship.
Hansen had named Williams in his squad for their opening clash with Australia in Sydney, but he will now not be available, although the Kiwi coach believes there could be a positive impact in the long term.
"He gets plenty of time for his body to recharge and probably hasn't had a break for a long time," said Hansen.
"He's been cross-coding in so many sports, he's such a talented person.
"We'll miss him, but at the same time it's an opportunity for someone else."