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Thread: Sonny Bill commits to NZ Rugby Union

  1. #1
    Champion KenyaQuin's Avatar
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    Sonny Bill commits to NZ Rugby Union

    By Adrian Warren23:32 AEST Thu Jun 10 2010


    Controversial former Canterbury Bulldogs and New Zealand rugby league star Sonny Bill Williams has announced he will commit to the New Zealand Rugby Union in a bid to achieve his dream of representing the All Blacks.

    Williams, who has played for French rugby club Toulon in the last two northern hemisphere winters, announced his decision on the Nine Network Footy Show.

    The 24-year-old powerhouse, who walked out on his contract with the Bulldogs in mid-2008, said he hadn't yet decided which New Zealand provincial rugby team he would play for.

    "I'm going to take up the opportunity to realise a dream and go back to New Zealand and try and aspire to play for the All Blacks," Williams said.

    "It's a lot less money than what Europe offers but I just feel that for my immediate playing future this is the best decision for me."

    Although he has two seasons of rugby under his belt, Williams didn't declare himself ready to represent the All Blacks.

    "I wouldn't say I'm ready to, I'd love to, it would be a dream come true," Williams said.

    "But I feel that me putting myself in this position is the first steps towards realising a dream.

    "I know there's fierce competition over there to play for the All Blacks and I've definitely got to go back and prove myself first and foremost, that's what first of all I'm looking to do."

    Williams was unsure about which province he would represent and said his manager Khoder Nasser was sifting through the options.

    "Hopefully I'll have a concrete answer in the next couple of weeks what provincial team I'll be going to.

    "I'm definitely excited about first and foremost going to New Zealand and I'm just thankful to the New Zealand Rugby Union and (coach) Graham Henry and (assistant coach) Wayne Smith."

    Asked if it was a lifestyle decision, Williams said if that had been the case he would have stayed in France.

    "The All Blacks are the biggest sporting brand in the world and the chance to play for them in a competition that's watched by more than four billion people, is something I couldn't let slip through my hands," Williams said.

    Williams, who has been tried in both the forwards and backs by Toulon, suggested inside centre would be his preferred position.

    "It helped playing alongside (England five-eighth) Jonny Wilkinson, he really gave me a lot of confidence in my game," Williams said.

    "It just showed in the last couple of months the way I was playing, how happy I was."

    Asked if he would do things differently if he was going to walk out on the Bulldogs now, Williams said "yes".

    "I just want to say to all the fans out there that have stuck by me and even before I left, I guess at the time I done what I done.

    "My intentions weren't to hurt anyone. Probably the people that I've hurt, I just want you to know that it wasn't intentional."

    Williams was looking forward to his second professional boxing bout, against an opponent to be determined, on the undercard of his friend Anthony Mundine's next contest in Brisbane on June 30.

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  2. #2
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    Rumour has it that he's interested and meeting with CCRU - courtesy of an AB & insider.

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    SBW signs for Canterbury Crusaders, not Bulldogs

    SONNY BILL WILLIAMS will begin his quest for an All Blacks jersey in Christchurch on July 30 after deciding to play for Canterbury in the national provincial championship and the Crusaders in next year's Super 15 competition.

    Williams, who will move to New Zealand after his second professional fight in Brisbane next Wednesday night on the undercard of Anthony Mundine's KO To Drugs event, has again put his goal of playing in next year's World Cup before money by joining Canterbury.

    In doing so, he turned down a far more lucrative deal with the ambitious Hawkes Bay outfit, which has been reported as being twice what North Harbour were prepared to pay and included luxury accommodation and a prestige car.

    Counties-Manukau, who have signed Williams's mentor Tana Umaga in a playing and assistant coach role, had also made a tempting to offer to Williams, 24, whose family were keen for him to return home to Auckland. But the former NRL superstar believes that playing alongside the likes of Dan Carter and Richie McCaw at NPC and Super rugby level will give him the best chances of fulfilling his ambition to play for the All Blacks in the 2011 World Cup.

    Williams, who has signed with the NZRU until the end of the tournament, which will be staged in New Zealand after the Super 15 season, has three goals - to earn All Blacks selection, to be the best All Blacks representative he can possibly be and to play in the World Cup-winning team.

    After that he has the option of returning to Europe, where he was offered a world record $6 million three-year deal to stay at French club Toulon, playing in the NRL or remaining in New Zealand. Canterbury are the defending NPC champions, while the Crusaders are the most successful team in the history of Super rugby - having won the competition seven times since its inception in 1996.

    The Crusaders, who are coached by former All Blacks captain Todd Blackadder, finished fourth this season - the best of the five New Zealand teams.

    Williams's first match for Canterbury will be in the opening round of the NPC against Hawkes Bay at Christchurch's AMI Stadium on Friday, July 30.

    Umaga, who yesterday began his duties with Counties-Manukau, said he was unaware of Williams's decision. ''I do talk with him often, but we don't talk about what he's going to do,'' Umaga told a news conference in Pukekohe.

    ''I have told him that Counties-Manukau is a great place to live … but in the end, he's got to do what's best for himself.''

    http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-union/un...0622-yvsp.html

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    Veteran zimeric's Avatar
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    thats good news for the Saders, i think he will be as big a name for the AB's as Umaga once was..

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    Senior Player Hoolly Doolly's Avatar
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    Crusaders were lacking punch from the centres. SBW will make a big impact for the crusaders.
    I think israel dagg is signing as well to join his outside back buddies zac guildford and maitland.......Hopefully theu'll be the team to steal the Bulls thunder next year!

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    Veteran zimeric's Avatar
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    Phwoarr!!

    thats an awesome lineup

    Carter, Guildford, Bowden, SBW, Maitland, Slade, Dagg & Fruean

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    Immortal Contributor jono's Avatar
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    book on him playing at least 20 in the 1st round of S15 next year?

    ---------- Post added at 20:49 ---------- Previous post was at 20:49 ----------

    give me 2:1 and i'll put 500k on it

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    Senior Player jombi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zimeric View Post
    Phwoarr!!

    thats an awesome lineup

    Carter, Guildford, Bowden, SBW, Maitland, Slade, Dagg & Fruean
    Slade is off to the highlanders, can't see SBW knocking off Fruen, or even Bateman if he were still there.

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