Sonny Bill wanted in two codes, five nations

Discussion in 'International Test Matches' started by flat_eric, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. flat_eric

    flat_eric Junior Member

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    SONNY BILL Williams has engaged a European agent to help him sort through expressions of interest from two codes in five countries.

    The agent, who does not want to be named, has talked to the New Zealand Rugby Union but said Toulon desperately wanted to retain Williams and that there had also been inquiries from English clubs.

    Williams is also understood to have been approached by Japanese rugby union, and the Warriors, Knights and Raiders have all declared they want him back in the NRL.

    However, the 24-year-old former Bulldogs star is unlikely to decide on his future until after the final of France's Top 14 rugby union competition next month.

    "I am speaking with the New Zealand Rugby Union but the talks are in the very early stages," the agent said. "They have expressed interest in him and are keen to get him back, like they are with any of their international players playing overseas.

    "But at the moment he wants to focus on his rugby with Toulon and they are very keen for him to stay. He is playing some really good rugby at the moment and starting to get his hands on the ball a lot more, and the team is going well. At this stage they should have a home quarter-final."

    Williams is also eligible to play for Samoa and the Wallabies in the 2011 World Cup and may qualify for France on residency grounds if he re-signs with Toulon.

    The club's owner, Mourad Boudjellal, told the Herald last month he would be prepared to enter an arrangement to ensure Williams was available for the All Blacks if he stayed in Toulon for a third season, but if that was unacceptable to the NZRU, he could play for France.

    English clubs are also chasing Williams, who helped Toulon eliminate Welsh outfit the Scarlets from Europe's Amlin Cup at the weekend, but the agent said: "There are a few but I doubt they could afford him."

    Williams scored a try and played a starring role at outside-centre in Toulon's 38-12 defeat of the Scarlets, prompting one Welsh media outlet to describe him as "the most naturally gifted player in either code in the game at the moment".

    While there has been speculation that the lure of playing for the All Blacks in next year's World Cup would entice Williams to return to his native New Zealand, forward Carl Hayman – widely regarded as the code's best tight-head prop – recently turned down the opportunity to do so and signed with Toulon.

    Asked when he expected Williams to make a decision, the agent said: "Probably not until late May or June.

    "I think the [Top 14] final is on May 29 and I doubt if he will make a commitment before then."

    Meanwhile, Mark Gasnier's prospects of remaining with Stade Francais could be boosted with the Parisian club set to launch an ambitious recruitment drive that may feature Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll.

    Gasnier is considering a move to the Melbourne Rebels or Western Force for next season, but Stade's signing of Australian coach Michael Cheika from Leinster has signalled their championship ambitions.

    O'Driscoll also plays for Leinster and hinted he might follow his coach to Paris next season.

    "If the situation arose, I'd certainly be open to the idea of it," he told the Irish Independent.

    Source: The Sydney Morning Herald
     
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  3. flat_eric

    flat_eric Junior Member

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    Has he really been playing that well? We see nothing here.
     
  4. TRF_nickdnz

    TRF_nickdnz Super Moderator

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    Meh, I'm tired of SBW toying with the idea of moving back to New Zealand. He's very much a professional and the lure of an All Black jearsey won't be as strong as an extra $700,000. Besides we have one of the best centers in the world with Conrad Smith and both Kahui and Ranger are also looking promising. If SBW comes to NZ great however I don't think we should be chasing him especially with his track record toward club loyalty.
     
  5. TRF_Olyy

    TRF_Olyy English Arrogance

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    He was brilliant in league, anonymous in union. I mean he's had a couple of decent enough tries, but hasn't hit his league form or anywhere near it. I reckon he should go back (so he can use his chest-shattering-shoulder-barges again), but i suppose he'll be making massive amounts of cash in France, so fairplay if he wants to stay.
     
  6. 187

    187 Senior Member

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    yeah SBW's talents are wasted in union, he needs to go back to league where his full potential is used to it's maximum.
     
  7. Cymro

    Cymro Guest

    Nah dunno games ive watched with Toulon he has played well, I look at the Scarlets game on the weekend and he was dominant there.
     
  8. Gavin

    Gavin Senior Member

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    Sonny Bill have been playing well, but not setting the world on fire. Give him a couple of years, perhaps in time for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, then he might be ready to represent New Zealand.
     
  9. iWin

    iWin Senior Member

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    I don't know why there's so much interest. He's been average for Toulon, and can't get out of the habit of holding the ball in one hand.
    I mean, he's a decent player, but worthy of all that? I don't think so.
     
  10. lucky number 7

    lucky number 7 Senior Member

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    ever see the time he took up boxing and knocked some poor guy senseless the guy is argueable the best athlete going .
     
  11. TRF_Olyy

    TRF_Olyy English Arrogance

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    Yeah knocked the guy out in the 2nd round if i remember correctly,
    Used to love watching him in the NRL, ones of the biggest hitters around, and was still fast and smart
    Pity he's a bit of a douche (left the Bulldogs a year into a 5year contract without telling them, because he was offered a metric f*cktonne of cash by Toulon)
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2010
  12. Cymro

    Cymro Guest

    To be honest I don't think he is good enough and never would be good enough for NZ in union but could prove a good centre for the likes of Samoa / Australia / France.

    One handed carrying is not the way forward.
     
  13. Canadian_Rugger

    Canadian_Rugger Senior Member

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    Mind you that was some pretty shitty ass boxing, and the guy he was fighting was somewhat of a can
     
  14. Charles

    Charles Senior Member

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    I don't think he will ever be good enough for France, let alone NZ. Even Samoa could do without him...His positioning is absolutely awful, resulting in him gwtting the ball 3 or 4 times in a game...
    Maybe for 2015...
     
  15. flat_eric

    flat_eric Junior Member

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    So from the general consensus he is play alright, good in patches, but isn't doing anything outstanding. Which is quite reasonable considering it's only his first or second (can't remember now) season in the game.

    On another note how are the other NRL-to-French rugby converts doing? (Craig Gower, Luke Rooney, Mark Gasnier). There has been a lot of talk about the ARU signing Gasnier by the end of the year.
     
  16. Versus

    Versus BANNED!!!

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    He has been, alright-ish, I suppose. Nothing to shout about, if he plays in France he could even make the French team, that was what he was toying with also. NZL doesn't need him, we have too many quality backs, what we need is a decent backup flyhalf and a godly halfback, got any to spare South Africa?
     
  17. Versus

    Versus BANNED!!!

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    Or Australia? You greedy buggers, you've got O'Connor, Berrick Barnes, Giteau and now you've bloody got Cooper, up yours! -cries-
     
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