Full name Sonnywilliam Williams
Born August 3, 1985, Auckland
Current age 28 years 360 days
Major teams Barbarians, Canterbury, Chiefs, Crusaders, Toulon, New Zealand
Position Centre, Wing
Height 6 ft 4 in
Weight 238 lb
|IRB Rugby World Cup||2011-2011||7||3||4||20||4||0||0||0||7||0||0||100.00|
|The Rugby Championship||2011-2012||5||3||2||0||0||0||0||0||4||1||0||80.00|
|Test debut||England v New Zealand at Twickenham, Nov 6, 2010 match details|
|Last Test||New Zealand v Australia at Auckland, Aug 25, 2012 match details|
|Test Statsguru||Main menu | Career summary | Match list | Most points | Most tries | Tournament list|
A World Cup winner with New Zealand in 2011, Sonny Bill Williams is one of the stars of the modern game having been lured to the 15-man code from rugby league in controversial circumstances in 2008.
The hugely talented centre caused a media storm when he walked out on NRL outfit the Canterbury Bulldogs to join ambitious French side Toulon having previously earned international honours with the New Zealand Kiwis. He started slowly in union but soon attracted the attention of the New Zealand Rugby Union who lured him back to the country of his birth in 2010 where he signed with Canterbury and the Crusaders.
Williams, who reportedly turned down the most lucrative deal in the history of professional rugby in favour of furthering his chances of becoming a dual international, was drafted into the All Blacks squad for their end of year tour despite having only played in the New Zealand provincial competition prior to his selection. He made his Test debut against England at Twickenham and followed it up with a Man of the Match performance against Scotland at Murrayfield.
An unprecedented clause in his NZRU contract allowed him to continue to pursue a boxing career alongside his union exploits and his third consecutive success in the ring preceded his Super Rugby bow with the Crusaders in 2011. He would return to the ring later in the year, as part of a fund-raising push following the devastating Christchurch earthquakes.
The Crusaders would be pipped to the Super Rugby crown by the Reds but Williams form saw him included in the All Blacks' squad for the 2011 Tri-Nations although he found himself with plenty to prove ahead of the World Cup later that year having been dropped for the title-decider won by Australia.
His chances to impress on the biggest stage were limited by the preferred midfield combination of Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith but he made three starts and scored four tries in the process. After lifting the World Cup, Williams announced he would join the Chiefs on a one-year deal but before the end of the 2012 campaign he announced he would be turning his back on New Zealand rugby in favour of a move to Japanese side Wild Knights with a return to rugby league reportedly in the pipeline for 2013.