Rennie backs Sonny Bill over loyalty

NZ Newswire July 10, 2012, 5:03 am

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie has come out to bat for Sonny Bill Williams against critics who question his loyalty to New Zealand rugby.

Two years after returning from France to try to make the All Blacks, Williams will head to Japan after the Super Rugby season to take up a lucrative deal with the Panasonic club.

It's then on to Australia to play in the NRL in 2013 to honour what he says is a handshake agreement made several years ago.

"People are going to question his loyalty, to be heading away, and his commitment to New Zealand rugby or to the Chiefs," Rennie said.

"Really, it's his commitment that's taking him away from here.

"He made an agreement on a handshake and he's doing the honourable thing in committing to that. He should be applauded for that as opposed to put down for it."

While Williams didn't named the NRL club he will join, he has been linked with a move to the Sydney Roosters.

A Kiwi league international, Williams switched to rugby after controversially walking out on the Canterbury Bulldogs in mid-season in 2008 and going to France to play for Toulon.

After his return to New Zealand, he had a season with the Crusaders before joining the Chiefs for the 2012 campaign and has started to show he is coming to terms with rugby.

The 26-year-old has been in excellent form for the Chiefs at second five-eighth and was a frontline selection for the All Blacks against Ireland for the June Test series, when he took his tally of caps to 17.

Rennie said he didn't know Williams at all until he met up with him at the Chiefs.

He had been impressed not only by Williams' efforts on the field, but also his diligence off it and his relationship with the rest of the players.

"There's almost an impression that Sonny is bigger than the team or bigger than the game, but he's very much one of the boys and certainly loved by his teammates."

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  1. Donald12:58pm Tuesday 10th July 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Nobody cares, news like this is as unimportant as news about hollywood celebrities. Nobody cares about either.

  2. Gordon12:48pm Tuesday 10th July 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    good to see you go. take j key with you.

  3. Kilima12:45pm Tuesday 10th July 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    There is nothing wrong with Sonny Bill William living the All Blacks give him credit for it that what sport is all about, but good luck for the All Black coach he should have be careful when picking his player. A multi sport person will never stay on one place....So GOOD LUCK FOR THE HEAD COACH FOR ALL BLACKS, he needs more experience in picking a professional player

  4. KC12:37pm Tuesday 10th July 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Leave that Sonny Boy alone. Hope he has taken his prized mirros with him and find new admirers in teh Land of Yens. So boring.We have so much rugby talent aroudn and lets move on.

  5. Steve12:25pm Tuesday 10th July 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    LOL, all the tall poppies are out in full force i see. Of course YOU bunch are as loyal as it gets HUH?

  6. santo12:16pm Tuesday 10th July 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Isn't this what life is about making choices. SBW is a very lucky young man that he has the choices to choose from. Unlike the rest of the moaners they don't have the luxury of choices SBW has. Carter and the other guy made their own choices to do what they want. Thats what SBW is doing. Malo Sonny.

  7. DocMarten11:57am Tuesday 10th July 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Loyalty to a handshake? If he broke his loyalty to a signed contract...he can break his loyalty to a handshake...suppose a million dollar cheque helps alot too....time to move on...Next!

    1 Reply
  8. King Richard11:54am Tuesday 10th July 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Go Now SBW your just a waste at best

  9. 11:46am Tuesday 10th July 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    cant wait for it to get out of the country,and dont come back

  10. Brenda11:46am Tuesday 10th July 2012 NZSTReport Abuse

    Good riddance ... let his ego lose games for someone else!


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