New Zealand fail to lure Sonny Bill Williams back to rugby union after reports emerge he will remain with NRL side Sydney Roosters
Williams was expected to head back to Union after choosing not to go to the Rugby League World Cup but he has since changed his mind on both matters
Friday 11 October 2013
New Zealand rugby union chiefs have failed in their attempt to secure Sonny Bill Williams' services next year.
It is understood that Williams, who played for the All Blacks in their 2011 World Cup-winning campaign, will remain with Sydney-based rugby league side and recent NRL Grand Final winners the Roosters in 2014.
The New Zealand Rugby Union had hoped that Williams would play Super Rugby for the Waikato-based Chiefs as part of a three-year deal incorporating the All Blacks' 2015 World Cup defence and 2016 Rio Olympics, when sevens returns to the Games.
But 28-year-old Williams, who is part of New Zealand's squad for the forthcoming Rugby League World Cup, has rejected those overtures.
"We obviously worked pretty hard to bring Sonny home, and we have had some really good conversations with him," New Zealand Rugby general manager Neil Sorensen told http://www.allblacks.com.
"This is disappointing, but we know we put our best foot forward, and in the end Sonny has made his decision.
"As we do with many players who leave New Zealand, we will continue to keep the lines of communication open with him about his playing career."
Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie added: "While we are disappointed that Sonny won't be with us in 2014 now, we will be keen to keep talking to him about future options."
Williams initially switched to union in 2008 when he joined big-spending French club Toulon. He won 19 New Zealand caps before joining the Roosters for their 2013 campaign.
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