It appears that New Zealand centre Sonny Bill Williams has played his last game in the National Rugby League as the Kiwi looks to commit his future to the 15-man game.
Speculation has been rife all week with a number of interested parties staking their claim to lure Williams into committing his future and talent to their cause. Williams’ former NRL side the Sydney Roosters were reportedly extremely keen in bringing SBW back to the rugby league outfit, where Williams played a pivotal role in claiming the 2013 Premiership title after a six year absence from the game.
However, big money offers being put on the table by European rugby union clubs and the allure of wearing the All Blacks jersey was too much to sway the New Zealander from rugby union.
The Kiwi is now likely to commit his future to union after his current contact ends.
Williams is one of the most successful players in the game of rugby whose long list of impressive accolades goes on. A two-time World Cup winner with the All-Blacks, five times Bledisloe Cup champion and twice Super Rugby winner with the Waikato Chiefs, Sonny Bill is now looking for glory at this summers Rio Olympics as he looks to add an Olympic gold medal to his trophy cabinet.
While Williams is seemingly on the verge of committing his future to union it is unclear as to what path he will pursue in plying his trade with multiple options on the table.
The New Zealand Rugby Union are said to have put forward a lucrative offer in keeping the talisman in the south equator, permitting SBW to pursue his boxing career in conjunction with his rugby responsiblities, having already won a national heavyweight boxing title.
If Williams decides to remain in New Zealand many pundits are of the belief that a return to the Chiefs is on the cards, where he has enjoyed a very fruitful period. However rumours have been circulating that Auckland Blues coach and close friend Tana Umaga could be set to snatch Sonny from under the Waikato franchise’s nose as the two remain in close communication.
It had also been reported last month by french rugby magazine La Provence that Williams was virtually set for a move back to France with European kingpins Toulon being the most likely candidate; only for that deal to seemingly fall through last minute.
But with the increasing profitability of English and French clubs it is likely that they will be in no way hesitant to splash the cash for someone of SBW’s pedigree and calibre.
Heineken Rugby Club celebrates and rewards real supporters who make the game what it is.