Sonny Bill Williams confirmed at a press conference this morning that he had signed with the Panasonic Wild Knights in Japan on a lucrative short-term contract immediately following the end of Super Rugby before finally heading back to Rugby League in 2013.
It was the worst kept secret but thankfully it was finally revealed today.
I live in Australia, and I can tell you right now, that although he makes headlines, it’s usually only ever about where his next contract is going to be.
Rewind a few years ago and he was playing Rugby League for the Bulldogs. He was about 18 months into 4 year deal reportedly worth several million dollars – when he out of nowhere decided to change codes and head for a lucrative deal in Toulon.
It caught everyone by surprise. The media when ballistic here in Australia and the National Rugby League (NRL) sued him for breaching his contract, for which he ultimately got banned from playing league til 2013. (see where I’m getting at?)
The worst thing is that he didn’t even have the balls to tell his coach, his teammates, his family or friends that he was going to Toulon.
Enter Anthony Mundine. Someone who he started associating with him just after he signed this new multi year deal with the Bulldogs.
Mundine is a well known former Rugby League player come boxer here in Australia, the most out spoken, cocky person you could come across.
They started having bromantic encounters before Sonny Bill was introduced to Khoder Nasser and as they say the rest is history.
So when the whole Toulon saga happened, who instigated that he should move? Mundine.
Who paid for his court fees when the NRL sued him? Mundine.
Who told him it might be a good idea to go to play for the All Blacks? Mundine.
Who told him its good for his image to box? Mundine
Who told him to go to Japan and then make his all triumphant return to the NRL after being exiled for 4 years? Oh you guessed it – Mundine.
Now as an Aussie (one who supports the All Blacks) I have to basically laugh at the fans, who think the sun shines out of Sonny Bill Williams!
Some Messiah you have there.
I would dare all the ones on the “I love sonny bill” bandwagon to go to Belmore in Sydney (home of the Bulldogs) and go up to a doggies supporter and ask them how they feel about him.
For what he did to the club, to the league and to the sport – it was disgraceful.
But the one thing that irritates me the most is that people say he deserved that All Blacks jersey.
Robbie Fruean deserves it more.
Ma’a Nonu deserves it more.
He didn’t earn it, he was chasing the $$$ and the media hype.
He didn’t deserve to be in the world cup. Brad Thorn earned it. Richie McCaw earned it.
This is why he will never be as great as Dan, Brad, Richie – due to loyalty and respect.
I’m glad he’s not available for the Rugby Championship. Robbie Fruean can at last get his well deserved first cap.
Whilst he’s playing the commitment phobe game this time around, I wonder what he’ll do after his season with the NRL. He might play AFL if the price is right.