New Zealand

SBW turns his back on All Blacks

Fri, 11 Oct 2013 06:33
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We'll be keen to keep talking to him
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Code-hopper Sonny Bill Williams has turned his back on a chance to rejoin the All Blacks, after it was revealed he will not return to Rugby Union next year.

The New Zealand Rugby Union said on Friday that Williams, labelled sport's No.1 narcissist by the Kiwi media, has opted instead to stay with the National Rugby League's Sydney Roosters.

There has been fevered speculation about Williams' future since he helped the Roosters win the NRL title last weekend, with the New Zealander weighing up an offer to rejoin the All Blacks for a tilt at the 2015 World Cup.

But Neil Sorensen, NZRU's General Manager Professional Rugby, said Williams had rejected the chance to link up again with the team he helped win the 2011 World Cup.

"We obviously worked pretty hard to bring Sonny home, and we have had some really good conversations with him," Sorensen said in a statement.

"This is disappointing but we know we put our best foot forward, and in the end Sonny has made his decision."

He said lines of communication would be kept open with the mercurial 28-year-old, who caused major controversy when he changed his mind about playing for New Zealand in the Rugby League World Cup later this month.

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie said: "While we are disappointed that Sonny won't be with us in 2014 now, we'll be keen to keep talking to him about future options.”

The Roosters said in a statement on Friday that Williams had pledged his commitment to the club for 2014 and it expected him to sign a new deal in mid-February on the same terms and conditions as his 2013 contract.

 

 


Williams was shoehorned into the Kiwis team for the Rugby League World Cup after being a notable omission when the original 24-man squad was named on Tuesday.

Initially, he told coach Stephen Kearney he was unavailable because of "other commitments".

His subsequent selection led to young Melbourne Storm back row forward Tohu Harris being dropped to make way.

Coach Steve Kearney was widely criticised for cutting Harris to accommodate the indecisive Williams, who also walked out on the Kiwis Rugby League team when he switched to Rugby Union in 2008.

Williams, 28, played seven Tests for the Kiwis before his controversial departure from the Canterbury Bulldogs in mid-2008 to switch to Rugby Union in France.

He went on to become part of the All Blacks' rugby World Cup-winning campaign in 2011.

He also won a Super Rugby title with the Chiefs last year.

 

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