Sonny Bill Williams signs three-year deal with New Zealand Rugby through until 2019

Jun 1 • General News, International • 2149 Views • Comments Off on Sonny Bill Williams signs three-year deal with New Zealand Rugby through until 2019

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New Zealand Rugby is delighted to confirm that All Blacks midfielder and All Blacks Sevens player Sonny Bill Williams has recommitted to New Zealand Rugby through to the end of the 2019 season.

30-year-old Williams, who has played 33 Tests for the All Blacks, won two Rugby World Cup medals and played in six tournaments for the All Blacks Sevens team, has also signed with the Blues Investec Super Rugby club for the same period.

New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew said: “This is another very important moment for New Zealand Rugby.  We would like to, firstly, thank Sonny for his commitment and the manner in which this negotiation has been conducted.”

“We know our top players have choices regarding where they play their footy and for him to sign a three-year deal with us shows he is truly motivated and excited about the opportunity and challenge of being remembered as a great All Black.  He has also brought that passion and professionalism into the All Blacks Sevens team since making his debut with them this year.

“There is no doubt that he is a very special person.  Since first signing with New Zealand Rugby back in 2010, he has made a significant impact, not only on the field but off the field as well.  He is a huge star with particularly our younger fans and has been an inspiration to a whole generation of kids who, like Sonny, love the game of rugby.”

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen added: “It’s great news for New Zealand Rugby having Sonny available for the next three years.  He is an extraordinarily gifted athlete and thoroughly professional in everything he does.  His recommitment will bring a stability to the midfield and will allow us to build a world-class centre combination.  Sonny’s professionalism, both on and off the field, will not only be an asset to his fellow midfielders, but also the rest of the team.”

“Sonny is part of the new leadership group in the All Blacks and it’s good to know that he’ll be contributing in that role over the next three years,” Hansen added.

“He’s currently one of the best players in the world.  His understanding of the game is now allowing him to play instinctively and I believe he’ll only get better and better. He could end up being one of the greats of our game,” Hansen said.

Blues Head Coach Tana Umaga is delighted that Williams will play for the club for the next three seasons, returning to his roots in Auckland.

Umaga said his influence will be significant for the club, both on and off the field.

“First and foremost, he is coming to the Blues to play. But he brings leadership and a thoroughly professional attitude that will hugely benefit our club and our players, especially the young players.”

Sonny Bill Williams joins All Blacks teammates Aaron Smith, Julian Savea, Brodie Retallick, Patrick Tuipulotu and Dane Coles who have all signed deals through to 2019.

Sonny Bill Williams – mini biography

Born in Auckland, 30-year-old Sonny Bill Williams has achieved amazing things in his sporting career: he has been a dual international and a national and international champion across different sports including rugby, league and boxing. He first signed with New Zealand Rugby in 2010 and made his All Blacks Test debut later that year.  He has now played 33 Tests, is a double Rugby World Cup winner, helping the All Blacks to victory in in 2011 and 2015, and has scored nine tries in the black jersey. Few players in New Zealand rugby have possessed the physical gifts of Williams, who cuts an imposing figure on the field and whose trademark,  extraordinary ability to offload while being tackled makes him a difficult player to defend against.

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