Premiership side Sale Sharks made an ambitious enquiry as to the the availability of All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams – but their hopes were quickly rebuffed.
Sportsmail have reported that the English outfit made their interest in Williams known via a third party, but his commitment to playing for New Zealand at the next World Cup in 2019 has made such a move before then an impossibility.
The report also suggests that two other Premiership teams have made enquiries as to the Blues centre’s availability and interest in moving to England upon completion of the upcoming World Cup and the subsequent end of his contract with the NZRU.
While Sale’s move has proven unsuccessful, Williams does hold an ambition to play in the Premiership before he retires. Speaking to the same publication ahead of the Lions visit in June of this year, the 32-year-old said that having already played in France for two years with Toulon, a move to England was a possibility when his contract expires, but reaffirmed his commitment to seeing the next two years out:
“I’m 32 this year, bro, but thank God I’ve really looked after my body,’ he says. ‘I’m contracted until I’m 34 then who knows? If that’s it, that’s it. If I don’t make it, I don’t make it.
‘I wouldn’t mind a year in England… I’ve always wanted to. I might have a few boxing fights, too. Inshallah, that all comes to fruition. I could see myself playing to 35, easy, but only God knows.”
Sale Sharks have made an unspectacular start to the new Premiership season, winning one and losing three of their opening four fixtures.
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