Sonny Bill Williams is one of those great rarities in professional sport. Someone who can adapt their skill set to succeed in a variety of sports but also have the mental edge and motivation to do so.
Williams, who has switched, on a number of occasions, between rugby union, sevens, rugby league and boxing, is, of course, currently plying his trade with the Auckland Blues and the All Blacks. He has shown some good glimpses for the Blues this season in Super Rugby in addition to his commanding performance against the Lions at the beginning of the tour.
He also played very well in the All Blacks’ warm-up match against Samoa at Eden Park, helping his side to a 78-0 demolition job of their Pacific Island opponents. However, Williams has received criticism during some parts of his career due to perceived lack of allegiance to the clubs he represents. In union alone, Williams has represented seven different clubs (including provincial New Zealand sides). He’s also represented the Sydney Roosters and the Canterbury Bulldogs in the NRL.
Pundit Arena spoke to Dan Carter last week and it was difficult not to discuss the talented Williams and the Racing 92 fly-half was quick to dismiss any criticism which may be aimed at the 31-year-old.
“Yeah there is a lot of hype around Sonny and you know there is a lot of criticism about him as well, I don’t think that’s justified because working alongside him and being a teammate for so long, he is the ultimate professional.
“He puts his passion for sport first, he is an extremely caring and giving person, he is just a great team man.”
It was also put to Carter that it is rare that you see Williams make a selfish decision in a game and Carter actually believes in some cases, Williams could do with being more selfish because he is such a talented and dangerous player.
“At times he could probably be more selfish because he is such an amazing athlete and he is so big, he is so strong, he is fast and he probably could destroy opposition even more but I think he gets just as much satisfaction as setting players up…”
Carter ultimately admits that his unselfishness is such a key asset to any team due to his ability to bring others into the game.
“That unselfishness really helps the team because he attracts defenders on attack and so creates space for players around him.
“So as someone who has played alongside him it’s a joy to play with him because a lot of the attention is around him and if it’s not, he will cut open a defence.”
Williams is contracted to the New Zealand Rugby Union until 2019 where he will hope to be involved in achieving a third successive World Cup title for the All Blacks.
SoftCo, the leading finance automation software provider, with the help of ambassadors Dan Carter and Ronan O’Gara, officially launched the SoftCo Foundation at a star-studded gala dinner in Dun Laoghaire Golf Club where more than €150,000 was raised for charity and a further €100,000 committed for ongoing Cancer Research.
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