SBW re-signs, joins Blues
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has predicted Sonny Bill Williams will finish as a rugby union great as he sets his sights on a record third consecutive Rugby World Cup triumph with New Zealand. Dual international Williams, 30, ended speculation about possible moves to European rugby or back to NRL yesterday by recommitting to New Zealand Rugby until the end of the 2019 World Cup year. He said he made the decision to stay – and to change his usual practice of signing one-year deals – soon after playing in New Zealand’s World Cup triumph in Britain last year, when Hansen rang him. “When you have probably the best coach ever from the 15-man game telling you that you are part of his plans moving forward, that really means a lot,” Williams said. “Straight after that call, I pretty much got on to my manager and told him this is where I want to stay.” Next year, rather than rejoining the Chiefs, with whom he won the Super Rugby title in 2012, he will move north to Auckland to play for the perennially under-performing Blues.
Sonny Bill Williams.