Sonny Bill set to stay in New Zealand
July 23, 2011
Sonny Bill Williams is currently in camp with the All Blacks © Getty Images
All Blacks centre Sonny Bill Williams is set to re-sign with the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) beyond the Rugby World Cup.
The 26-year-old's future has been shrouded in uncertainty, due to reports linking him with an overseas move and a return to rugby league, but his agent, Khoder Nasser, has confirmed that he is set to put pen to paper on an extension to his current deal.
Williams left big-spending Top 14 side Toulon midway through 2010, joining Canterbury and the Crusaders before winning his maiden Test caps on New Zealand's European tour last November. He is currently in camp with the All Blacks prior to their Tri-Nations campaign.
Nasser revealed that Williams feels he 'owes something' to the All Blacks coaching staff, as well as Crusaders boss Todd Blackadder, and that he will likely continue to pursue his boxing career.
"We have told the NZRU they don't need to worry about next year any more," Nasser told the Sunday Star Times. "Sonny feels a moral obligation to stay in New Zealand for another year after the hospitality that the New Zealand public has shown him.
"Mentally, the intention had always been to only stay for a year but he's realised that he owes something to Graham Henry, Wayne Smith and Todd Blackadder. He's going to do another year and the NZRU will continue to allow him to pursue his dreams in other sports at the same time."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"We know where we are going and we know where we want to get but how long that will take is anybody's guess." David Humphreys on his plans for Gloucester
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch
Tom Hamilton reports back from the launch of the Guinness PRO12 where there is a renewed sense of optimism with all of the off-field changes to the league
So much for the great Australian revival, writes Greg Growden. It now has the potential of going off the rails after the capitulation at Eden Park