Chiefs looking at SBW for 2015
April 19, 2013
Sonny Bill Williams remains in the thoughts of Chiefs and All Blacks fans © Getty Images
Sonny Bill Williams is unlikely to return to rugby union in 2014, after the conclusion of his one-season contract with NRL club Sydney Roosters this year, Chiefs coach Dave Rennie says.
Williams, who won the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup with the All Blacks, played a major role in the Chiefs' 2012 Super Rugby title-winning campaign, and he has spoken about returning to play for the Waikato team in the future. Rennie is confident of luring the 27-year-back to New Zealand in the future - just not for 2014.
"There's certainly no talk about us trying to drag him back across the Tasman next year although that would be really good," Rennie said after the Chiefs caught up with their former team-mate in Sydney as they prepared for the Super Rugby match against New South Wales Waratahs on Friday night.
"I reckon there's a good show of getting him back in 2015 - World Cup year. There's a lot of water to go under the bridge between now and then, and who knows? He may love his return to rugby league and it might be hard to prise him out. But he's always up for challenges, Sonny, so a World Cup would be a good opportunity to try and lure him back. And if he certainly comes back to rugby, he'd definitely come back to the Chiefs, so we're keen to see that happen. He was a massive part of our group last year. He loves the boys, so it was good having him around."
Rennie, meanwhile, hopes Richard Kahui will have a Williams-type influence on the match after moving the All Blacks player to second five-eighth this week. "That's the plan," he said. "Richard's made a bucketload of line breaks in the last two weeks."
© ESPN Australia / New Zealand with AAP
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September