Sonny Bill Williams has informed the NZRU and the Chiefs that he will not be returning to union next season, and has instead signed a contract extension with his NRL franchise the Sydney Roosters.
SBW recently made a dramatic U-turn in his decision to play in the upcoming Rugby League World Cup, after previously having ruled himself out, a decision that seemed to pave the way for him to return to union. However, he has confirmed today that, for next season at least, he will remain a league player.
New Zealand Rugby General Manager Neil Sorensen said while he was disappointed not to have secured Williams for 2014, it was obvious the 28-year-old Auckland-born player had options for his playing career next year.
“We obviously worked pretty hard to bring Sonny home, and we have had some really good conversations with him. This is disappointing but we know we put our best foot forward, and in the end Sonny has made his decision,” Sorensen said.
“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 said: “While we are disappointed that Sonny won’t be with us in 2014 now, we’ll be keen to keep talking to him about future options.”