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SBW out of Union and back to League


Sonny Bill Williams, All Black center, has hung up his union adventure, and returns to League.

Sonny Bill Williams will put his All Blacks career on hold to return to rugby league after a stint playing in Japan, Australian media reported on Sunday.

The muscular New Zealand centre had signed a lucrative deal to play with Panasonic Wild Knights in Japan’s Top League and was also poised to announce a deal with the Sydney Roosters in Australia’s top-flight National Rugby League (NRL), Sydney’s Daily Telegraph newspaper said.

The New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU), who coaxed Williams home from Europe in 2010 with the lure of an All Blacks jersey for the World Cup, declined to comment on the report, but said they had scheduled a news conference in Hamilton on Monday with the 26-year-old and All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster.

Williams, 26, played one season with the Canterbury-based Crusaders in the southern hemisphere Super Rugby competition last year before crossing to the Chiefs this season.

Chiefs coaches Dave Rennie and Wayne Smith would also appear at the news conference, the NZRU said.

Dual international Williams began his professional career playing rugby league for the Sydney-based Canterbury Bulldogs in the NRL but controversially walked out on the team mid-season in 2008 to play rugby union withFrench club Toulon.

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  1. how many times have we heard this in the last few years? Is there any truth to it and what is the outcome? Will he play Championship rugby this season? Will he play S15 rugby next season? Will he be back with union for RWC 2015?

  2. Too be honest, this move to Japan after the Super season ends does not bother me too much. Making some decent money while waiting for his League contract to kick in is not a bad idea at all.

    In my view his biggest faux pas was back when he kicked his league team in the nads to play union in France. Will be interesting to see if the league fans have long memories.

  3. Reply to DavidS @ 2:40 pm:

    no rugby union will be. A mate of mine and I tracked the last 6 games performance by centres of various teams and SonnyBill is currently so far ahead of all the others its almost a joke.

    Will union adapt? Or will he be a once off?

  4. Money Bill Williams does it again.

    His new contract with the Roosters allows him to opt out of paying against the Bulldogs. Meanwhile the Bulldogs are asking to have their first fixture of the new season against the Roosters. There’s a lot of bad blood there. :JT:

  5. So Bloody What

  6. Sad to see him go as his abilities with the ball are freakish but others will take his place no doubt.

    According to Graham Henry, the man who first lured him to NZ from Toulon, he expects SBW to return for the next World Cup anyway.

    SBW has intimated himself too that the Chiefs are in his heart now.

    Perhaps this is a chance for Steve Hansen and his coaches to move in another direction. I’m sure Nonu will start but there would be no harm in trying a Cruden/Carter/Smith combination.


  7. Reply to Dumptackle @ 7:15 pm:

    Any team in including the AB’s are most definitely worse-off not having him in the 15 let alone 22…

    Huge stink over here about a> whether he should have been permitted back into the NRL at all b> what actual value the Rooster’s will get for $850k for a season (particularly under such a stringent salary cap…

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