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.
The Scotland coach enters his first Six Nations with at least one familiar face to look to for inspiration - Ireland's Joe Schmidt. He chats to Tom Hamilton
Italy coach Jacques Brunel spoke to ESPN ahead of his final season as Italy coach and tells of his desire to experiment and evolve
"There's no bull with me, I just tell it straight." Tom Hamilton talks to Warren Gatland in an exclusive interview
With the retirement of Adam Jones, Welsh rugby says goodbye to a great player and one of its biggest personalities too, writes Tom Hamilton