He's almost the total opposite to what he's portrayed in the media
Chiefs coach Dave Rennie believes the real Sonny Bill Williams is the 'total opposite' to how he is portrayed in the media.
The code-hopping star will return to the Chiefs in 2015 after completing another season with his Rugby League side the Sydney Roosters, and Rennie insists that he has been a model professional throughout the negotiation process.
Williams' has switched between codes very succesfully, winning a World Cup with the All Blacks and a Super Rugby title with the Chiefs before returning to league and winning the NRL title with the Roosters this year.
Having recently made himself unavailable for the Rugby League World Cup he changed his mind at the last minute, with many accusing him of being bigger than the game as a result.
However, Rennie insists that he has never worked with a more professional player.
He told Fairfax NZ News: "He's almost the total opposite to what he's portrayed in the media.
"The media want to imply that he's bigger than the game. That it's all about him. That he's selfish and so on, but Sonny is incredibly professional, really diligent with his assessment and analysis," he said.
Rennie explained that Williams had been a positive influence in the Chiefs dressing room, with many players inspired by his high standards.
"He doesn't drink, so his recovery is a massive part of his ability to play well the following week. He had a big influence on our young island boys. A lot of them gave up drinking. A lot of them would get together with Sonny on the Sunday and go through stuff. He's got the patience of a saint.
"Every Tom, Dick and Harry can come to our training and he'll hang around for photos and to sign autographs. He's fantastic in that area. If you talk to the players, they'll say he's down to earth, just one of the guys.
"That's why we were pretty desperate to get him back. It's not just the playing ability. He's a massive positive influence within our group. He's a quality man, really caring. That's why the boys love him. He constantly impressed me. We'd have him back in a heart beat," he said.