Chiefs seek second coming for Sonny Bill Williams
April 9, 2013
Chiefs' coach Dave Rennie is working towards securing Sonny Bill Williams again © Getty Images
If Sonny Bill Williams returns to New Zealand rugby it will be in Chiefs colours, according to coach Dave Rennie.
Williams is currently playing for National Rugby League side Sydney Roosters after famously honouring a one-year deal agreed on a handshake with club powerbroker Nick Politis. At the time of his departure, he made no secret he would have preferred to stay with the Super Rugby champions rather than return to league.
Rennie is just as keen to see the former All Blacks player back in Hamilton. "We're working pretty hard in that area and we are pretty confident we can maybe lure him back here at some stage. But when that is there is no confirmation," said Rennie, who loses talented midfielder Richard Kahui to Japanese rugby at the end of the Super Rugby campaign.
"He made a real commitment to league and he might be there for a couple of years yet. There's no guarantee about that but he's certainly committed there this year. [With 2015] being a World Cup year, hopefully that will be attractive to him."
Rennie laughed when asked if he and Williams, who has also played for the Crusaders, had shaken hands on an agreement he would return to his franchise. "No, we didn't put him under that sort of pressure," Rennie said, adding he did not think Williams would be looking at any other New Zealand team either.
"If he comes back to New Zealand, he'll come to the Chiefs. He loved it here. He loved the boys and obviously was a big part of our success. There's no way he can go to anywhere else other than here."
Rennie also has no qualms about dealing with Williams' agent, Khoder Nasser, again. "Khoder was easy to work with despite what other people would say. I think we were up front with our expectations of Sonny, especially in and around the boxing, and so were they and I think everybody delivered. So it was a pretty easy marriage to be honest. Sonny is just a fantastic guy. Obviously he's a terrific player but a huge role model for our guys and incredibly professional. Those sorts of players you want in your mix all the time."
"I had a couple of injuries before but this was different." Tom Hamilton talks to Scott Williams about the O'Driscoll tackle, Wales and Scarlets
"To be the best it's not about the flash stuff, it's actually about everything done at a very high level." Tom Hamilton on the England squad
Huw Richards rewinds to 1864 to mark the birth of Welsh rugby's first authentic star - Arthur Gould
Michael Cheika has succeeded in becoming the Wallabies coach under his own terms, writes Greg Growden