WIlliams has doubts   11 Jun 2010

RUGBY - Sonny Bill Williams admits he is taking a big 'risk' in returning to New Zealand to pursue an All Blacks dream that is by no means guaranteed.


After signing on with the New Zealand Rugby Union and turning down an 'unbelievable' offer from French rugby club Toulon - believed to be around $6million - Williams says he is still a raw rugby talent with a lot to improve.

"I'm sitting here talking like I'm going to play for New Zealand but it's a very big risk me coming back home because there's a chance I might not make it," Williams told Sportal on Friday morning.

"I'm one for a challenge. The dream to play for an All Black jersey was something I couldn't turn down."

"It's a challenge and yes I have my doubts, but hopefully I [don't] let anyone down."

"I know if I don't perform I won't be picked for the World Cup. I wouldn't say it's a cut-off point [to deciding the future] but I'll definitely reassess my situation after the World Cup."

The 24-year-old worldwide superstar is contracted until the end of 2011 and will decide which province and franchise he will play for within the next 10 days.

He gave his biggest hint yet that the Crusaders was his preferred Super 15 destination.

"You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that if you play alongside Dan Carter you are going to improve your game," he said.

"I'm learning and I'm still a pretty raw player. I haven't played in New Zealand, so I've got to take the heart and feelings out of it [the decision of who to play for] and think with my head."

"I'm fortunate enough to have a choice of a few clubs. I really want to go somewhere where it can make me the best I can be."

"I feel if I put myself in the right province back in New Zealand that I can grow as a player. Hopefully the confidence will come. Obviously it'll be a different style that I'm used to, but I'm excited to be doing it."

Williams had a disrupted first season in France but played 20 games this year, predominantly at second five-eighths outside Jonny Wilkinson.

He admitted still coming to grips with positioning in the backline but had gained confidence and had greater skills and understanding thanks to the England pivot.

The once-loved Bulldogs second-rower said his family, especially his mother Lee, had been a deciding factor in his homecoming. He was hopeful he would have the public's support.

"You are always going to have your knockers. [Hopefully] the average guy on the street accepts and get in behind me because I am a Kiwi and I'm coming back to have a crack," the Auckland-born man-mountain said.

"I'm excited mate. Hopefully it's a lot more running rugby [than in Europe] and I get a lot more ball and I can express myself."

Canterbury, North Harbour and Counties-Manukau are the frontrunners for Williams' ITM Cup signature. He and Tana Umaga had had long talks about New Zealand rugby and the former All Blacks captain remained 'a very big factor' in the progression of his play.

There was definitely big pressure and expectation to perform but that is what he thrived on, Williams said.

"I know it's going to bring the best out in me," Williams said. "I'm not expecting fireworks from the start. I want to get in the grind and improve. I have higher expectations than anyone else. I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform. I won't be paying attention to outside people. I'll give my province my all and try to put myself in the frame."

He did not have aspirations to play Sevens and was focused on being consistent in the 15-man game.

Following his June 30 boxing belt in Brisbane, Williams would spend the day with his mother and then return to New Zealand on July 1.

SOURCE : Sportal

Add a comment

Bookmark and Share


Biosecurity New Zealand launched

30 Apr 2018 Environment By Hon Damien O'Connor
  30 April 2018 Minister for Biosecurity Damien O’Connor launched Biosecurity New Zealand at the Zealandia... more

Opinion: Auckland Regional fuel tax vote a victory for progress

30 Apr 2018 News By Hon Phil Tywford
30 April 2018 Auckland Council is to be congratulated for this afternoon voting 15-2 in favour of the regional fuel tax, Transport... more


Minister hails new Secure Exports Scheme partner

30 Apr 2018 Business News By Hon Meka Whaitiri
30 April 2018 Customs Minister Meka Whaitiri today welcomed the signing of a partnership between New Zealand Customs and dairy... more

RBNZ Governor supports macro-prudential policy

16 Mar 2018 Business News
Macro-prudential policy has been particularly useful in the current environment of globally low interest rates, where monetary policy... more


NZ rockers "I Am Giant" in Europe for album release tour - London shows 16 & 17 August

4 Aug 2018 Entertainment
'Theres two things you need to know about I Am Giant.. one.. they're awesome. and two.. they're awesome' Daniel P Carter - Radio 1... more

Two Worlds: Modern Maori Quartet delights London before heading up to Edinburgh

1 Aug 2018 Entertainment By Charlotte Everett
Fresh off the boat from Aotearoa, Modern Maori Quartet were back in London to treat us to an awesome Sunday afternoon of entertainment... more


No new solutions in housing report

12 Feb 2018 Property By Michael Woodhouse
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2018   The Government's housing stocktake report released today adds no new knowledge or... more

Stocktake finds housing crisis deeper, more entrenched

12 Feb 2018 Property
12 FEBRUARY 2018 An independent stocktake of New Zealand’s housing sector has found the housing crisis the country faces is deeper... more


Community organisations chosen to sponsor refugees in New ZealandI

26 Jan 2018 Migration By Hon Iain Lees-Galloway
26 JANUARY 2018 Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway has today announced the four community-based organisations who will be the... more

Building occupations added to skill shortage list

14 Dec 2017 Migration By Iain Lees-Galloway
15 DECEMBER 2017 It will be easier for the building industry to find the workers it needs to help address New Zealand’s housing... more


International visitors spend $10.6bn in year to December

22 Feb 2018 Travel & Tourism
International visitor spending reached a record high of $10.6 billion in the year to December 2017, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis... more

NZ Election 2017: Tourism fund for infrastructure and conservation

28 Aug 2017 Travel & Tourism
Tourism fund for infrastructure and conservation Posted by Kris Faafoi on August 28, 2017 Labour will estaba Tourism and... more


French win over England timely for All Blacks

13 Mar 2018 Rugby By Lynn McConnell
  12 March 2018 France's upset victory over England in the Six Nations at the weekend was the perfect result for the All... more

Winter Olympics: NZ Triples Medal Count in Single Day

22 Feb 2018 Sport
New Zealand has tripled its Olympic Winter Games medal count in a single stunning afternoon at PyeongChang 2018. Zoi... more


Gordon Campbell on the Gareth Morgan crusade

11 Nov 2016 Opinion
Gordon Campbell on the Gareth Morgan crusade First published on Werewolf The ghastly likes of Marine Le Pen in France and Geert ... more

Gordon Campbell on the US election outcome

10 Nov 2016 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell   Gordon Campbell on the US election outcome Well um.. on the bright side, there (probably)... more

Kiwi Success

New Auckland DHB chairs announced

30 Apr 2018 Appointments
30 April 2018 Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced new chairs to lead Auckland’s three District Health Boards. The... more

Law Commissioner appointed

29 May 2017 Appointments
29 May 2017 Former Secretary for Justice Belinda Clark has been appointed as Law Commissioner, Justice Minister Amy Adams announced... more


Auckland employment hubs benefit over 500 young job seekers

8 Mar 2018 Recruitment By Hon Willie Jackson
8 MARCH 2018 Minister of Employment Willie Jackson today visited the Auckland CBD Jobs and Skills Hub and the Southern Initiative in... more

Fastest growing jobs - NZ recruitment

21 Dec 2017 Recruitment
New Zealand’s increasing need for social services has seen jobs in the Community Services & Development industry among the... more