Can Sonny Bill become a 7s star?

Mon, 23 Dec 2013 12:21
Large sonny bill williams head bo Large sonny bill williams in jap2 Large sonnybillwilliamswildknights

Sonny Bill Williams will return to Rugby Union in 2015, but some pundits wonder if he will be able to adapt to the Sevens version.

Sonny Bill Williams will return to Rugby Union in 2015, and the Chiefs believe it will not take long for the star to rediscover his form and once again earn All Blacks representation.

Williams' signing does not come as a surprise, although the New Zealand Rugby Union's confirmation that his signature has been secured ensures that there is no uncertainty regarding the deal.

While missing out on a Rugby League World Cup winner's medal, Williams will aim to win another Rugby Union World Cup medal, assuming the All Blacks can create history and become the first nation to successfully defend a global championship.

The following year, all things willing, Williams will bid to make the All Blacks Sevens team, who will likely enter the 2016 Olympics as the Gold Medal favourites.

Gordon Tietjens has given cautious approval of a potential switch, even if one of the Australian pioneers of the abbreviated game said it would be a simple transition.

"You'd certainly think Sonny has all the attributes to adapt to the shorter game," Wallabies legend Mark Ella said.

"It takes time to adapt, to understand the game, the space, the different rule interpretations. But you'd have to think Sonny is the type of player who will do that fairly quickly."

The Chiefs will be the first team to have his services.

Coach Dave Rennie said the two-time champions were always willing to get Williams back on their roster, and the coaching team was disappointed when they missed out on his signing - with SBW opting to take a second year option with the Roosters.

"He made a massive impression on the franchise when he was with us a couple of years back, and we've made no secret of the fact we wanted to get him back," Rennie said.

The Super Rugby champions would not however have exclusive services over the back, who will once again wear the No.12 jersey in union.

"There's some things to be sorted out over the next year or so,” Rennie said.

"Post-World Cup [regarding the Olympics] he will make some big decisions about what he wants to do."

Rennie said that the franchise would not stand in the way of Williams trying to play for the All Blacks Sevens, a move that would rule him out of playing much Super Rugby during 2016, as well as playing at Test match level.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen hasn't indicated it would be a switch that would be opposed, as did Rennie.

"We wouldn't stop him, either," Rennie said.

‘‘If that's what he wants to do, we'll support that. Likewise with other players who want to play in the Olympics. That's a rare opportunity for the players."

Source: SANZAR News Service

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 16 October 2015
Blue Bulls v Western Province 17h10 Pretoria
Connacht v Zebre 18h30 Sportsground
Glasgow Warriors v Dragons 18h35 Scotstoun
Scarlets v Leinster 18h35 Parc y Scarlets
Worcester Warriors v Northampton Saints 18h45 Sixways
Edinburgh v Ulster 18h45 BT Murrayfield
Harlequins v Wasps 18h45 Twickenham Stoop
Newcastle Falcons v Gloucester 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 17 October 2015
Munster v Cardiff Blues 12h30 Irish Independent Park
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 13h00 Recreation Ground
Saracens v Sale Sharks 13h00 Allianz Park
Treviso v Ospreys 13h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
South Africa v Wales 15h00 Twickenham
Golden Lions v Free State Cheetahs 15h05 Johannesburg
New Zealand v France 19h00 Millennium Stadium
Sun, 18 October 2015
Ireland v Argentina 12h00 Millennium Stadium
London Irish v Leicester Tigers 14h15 Madejski Stadium
Australia v Scotland 15h00 Twickenham
Sun, 11 October 2015
United States v Japan 18 | 28
France v Ireland 9 | 24
Italy v Romania 32 | 22
Argentina v Namibia 64 | 19
Sat, 10 October 2015
England v Uruguay 60 | 3
Australia v Wales 15 | 6
Golden Lions v Griquas 29 | 19
Samoa v Scotland 33 | 36
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 34 | 34
Fri, 09 October 2015
New Zealand v Tonga 47 | 9
Western Province v EP Kings 45 | 14
Pumas v Blue Bulls 24 | 25
Wed, 07 October 2015
Namibia v Georgia 16 | 17
South Africa v United States 64 | 0
Tue, 06 October 2015
Fiji v Uruguay 47 | 15
Team P W D L Pts
Argentina Sevens 9 0 0 0 92
Wales Sevens 9 0 0 0 91
France Sevens 9 0 0 0 73
Scotland Sevens 9 0 0 0 48
United States Sevens 9 0 0 0 41
Kenya Sevens 9 0 0 0 40
New Zealand Sevens 9 3 0 0 167
Fiji Sevens 9 3 0 0 161
England Sevens 9 1 0 0 135
Samoa Sevens 9 1 0 0 133
South Africa Sevens 9 0 0 0 125
Australia Sevens 9 0 0 0 112
Canada Sevens 9 0 0 0 33
Spain Sevens 9 0 0 0 19
Portugal Sevens 9 0 0 0 18