Sonny Bill Williams signs new NZ rugby deal
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Code-swapping star Sonny Bill Williams has signed a two-year contract with the New Zealand Rugby Union which might see him play for the All Blacks at the 2015 World Cup.
The union said Friday that Williams will return to the Hamilton-based Chiefs in Super Rugby under a deal covering the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
Williams, who switched from rugby league to union in 2008, became an All Black in 2010 and played at the 2011 Rugby World Cup. He then returned to rugby league, winning Australia’s NRL title this year with the Bulldogs and playing for New Zealand at the World Cup.
He also found time to become New Zealand’s professional heavyweight boxing champion, though he has vacated that title after failing to defend it within 12 months.
NZRU chief executive Steve Tew said Williams’ primary focus would be on playing for the Chiefs, with whom he won the Super Rugby title in 2012. But he said Williams had made clear his ambition to regain an All Blacks jersey and to press for selection in the New Zealand rugby sevens team to the 2016 Olympics.
“Sonny showed in his two years with New Zealand rugby that he is an outstanding talent and was a real asset to our game,” Tew said. “We are delighted to have agreed terms which will see him return to rugby in 2015.
“We think it is great that he has made his aspirations clear and if he plays well enough to be considered for selection for those teams, then that is fantastic.”