Sonny Bill commits to NZ Rugby Union - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sonny Bill commits to NZ Rugby Union

By Adrian Warren 10/06/2010 11:28:29 PM Comments (0)

Controversial former Canterbury Bulldogs and New Zealand rugby league star Sonny Bill Williams has announced he will commit to the New Zealand Rugby Union in a bid to achieve his dream of representing the All Blacks.

Williams, who has played for French rugby club Toulon in the last two northern hemisphere winters, announced his decision on the Nine Network Footy Show.

The 24-year-old powerhouse, who walked out on his contract with the Bulldogs in mid-2008, said he hadn't yet decided which New Zealand provincial rugby team he would play for.

"I'm going to take up the opportunity to realise a dream and go back to New Zealand and try and aspire to play for the All Blacks," Williams said.

"It's a lot less money than what Europe offers but I just feel that for my immediate playing future this is the best decision for me."

Although he has two seasons of rugby under his belt, Williams didn't declare himself ready to represent the All Blacks.

"I wouldn't say I'm ready to, I'd love to, it would be a dream come true," Williams said.

"But I feel that me putting myself in this position is the first steps towards realising a dream.

"I know there's fierce competition over there to play for the All Blacks and I've definitely got to go back and prove myself first and foremost, that's what first of all I'm looking to do."

Williams was unsure about which province he would represent and said his manager Khoder Nasser was sifting through the options.

"Hopefully I'll have a concrete answer in the next couple of weeks what provincial team I'll be going to.

"I'm definitely excited about first and foremost going to New Zealand and I'm just thankful to the New Zealand Rugby Union and (coach) Graham Henry and (assistant coach) Wayne Smith."

Asked if it was a lifestyle decision, Williams said if that had been the case he would have stayed in France.

"The All Blacks are the biggest sporting brand in the world and the chance to play for them in a competition that's watched by more than four billion people, is something I couldn't let slip through my hands," Williams said.

Williams, who has been tried in both the forwards and backs by Toulon, suggested inside centre would be his preferred position.

"It helped playing alongside (England five-eighth) Jonny Wilkinson, he really gave me a lot of confidence in my game," Williams said.

"It just showed in the last couple of months the way I was playing, how happy I was."

Asked if he would do things differently if he was going to walk out on the Bulldogs now, Williams said "yes".

"I just want to say to all the fans out there that have stuck by me and even before I left, I guess at the time I done what I done.

"My intentions weren't to hurt anyone. Probably the people that I've hurt, I just want you to know that it wasn't intentional."

Williams was looking forward to his second professional boxing bout, against an opponent to be determined, on the undercard of his friend Anthony Mundine's next contest in Brisbane on June 30.

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