Sonny Bill Williams

SBW sees positive signs for Toronto

The New Zealand great, who began his professional rugby career with the Canterbury Bulldogs, switched codes again last year when he left the Blues to join Toronto ahead of their inaugural Super League season.

Twice a World Cup winner with the All Blacks, Williams was unable to help the Wolfpack avoid a 28-10 defeat to Castleford Tigers in their opening match of 2020.

Toronto lose on Super League bow

Toronto – only formed four years ago – marked their debut in the top flight by scoring an early try, Liam Kay getting on the end of a grubber kick in the first of two games played at Headingley on Sunday.

Williams was on the bench at that stage and the New Zealander, who last played in the 13-man code in 2014, endured an inauspicious start following his introduction to proceedings, knocking on with his first touch.

Castleford recovered quickly after falling behind, Greg Eden, Grant Millington, Adam Milner and Michael Shenton all scoring tries before the break.

Sonny Bill Williams allowed to cover Betfred logo on jersey

Super League chief executive Robert Elstone says an agreement has been reached with Betfred - one of the UK's biggest betting companies. Gambling is considered 'haram' or forbidden in Islam, along with other practices like drinking alcohol. 

Williams converted from Christianity to Islam in 2009 and was the first Muslim to play for the All Blacks. 

"I think the matter has been resolved in satisfactory fashion," said Elstone. "I have say a big 'thank you' to Betfred for the way they've managed this.

World Cup organisers hoping for SBW to kick-off 2021 edition

Australia will meet Fiji, Italy and Scotland in Group B, while New Zealand were drawn against Ireland, Jamaica and Lebanon in Group C and Tonga play Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea and Wales in Group D.

In the women’s tournament, New Zealand were drawn in the same pool as Australia in a massive boost for the likes of England and PNG.

However, most interest in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace centred on which team Prince Harry picked as England's opponents in the opening match on 23 October, 2021. The match will be played at St James' Park in Newcastle.

Sonny Bill Williams hits back over 'leeches' controversy

Earlier this month, Newstalk ZB presenter Heather du Plessis-Allan told her listeners it was not worth the expense of sending the PM to the Pacific Islands Forum in Nauru.

"The Pacific Islands wants money from us," she said.

"The Pacific Islands don't matter. They are nothing but leeches on us."

Her comments were posted on social media, prompting lots of angry reactions and some abusive and offensive putdowns of the broadcaster herself.

Sonny Bill Williams to fight Bachelorette winner in next boxing bout

All Blacks centre Williams announced on Tuesday that he will fight Laundy the weekend after the All Blacks' Test against Italy.

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen has already given the green light for Williams for his next bout, saying the fight would be a low-key affair.

“I think he’s just going to get off the plane and do it. It’s the sort of athlete he is,” he said.

"We've got guys boxing all the time, as part of their training. Again, my understanding of the fight is that it's more of an exhibition fight I think than a go down and knock yourself out fight.

SBW opens up about a return to league

Williams is targeting next year's Rugby Union World Cup with the All Blacks but his future beyond that is undecided.

The dual international turns 34 next August and is weighing up ending an illustrious career spanning Australia, New Zealand, France, Japan, rugby league, rugby union and boxing.

Williams became a pariah in the 13-man game after his walk-out on Canterbury in 2008 over a contract dispute.

Williams out with knee injury

Williams aggravated an old knee injury this week and Blues medical staff said an x-ray yesterday showed a loose piece of bone in his knee joint.

He will undergo keyhole surgery later today in Auckland.

Blues medical staff expect that the second five-eighth will be unable to train for approximately four weeks.

The 32-year-old was due to assemble with the All Blacks squad next week to prepare for the first test against France - an update of his involvement from All Blacks management will be given on Monday.

SBW breaks wrist

The twice World Cup winner posted a photograph on his Twitter page with his left forearm and hand encased in a plaster cast.

The Blues say Williams would be out for between six and eight weeks.

The 32-year-old could return in time for the clash against the defending champion Canterbury Crusaders on May 19, two weeks before the All Blacks play their first match in their three-test series against France in Auckland.

The Blues, who have a bye this week, play South Africa's Sharks next Saturday at Eden Park.

     

Williams shoots down reports of move back to league

The 32-year-old Williams' playing future has been the subject of intense speculation virtually every year since he walked out on a five-year contract with rugby league's Canterbury Bulldogs in 2008 to play union in France.

Williams was forced into clarifying his future after a former Sydney Roosters player told an Australian radio station at the weekend that he would join the club in August after the Auckland Blues' season ended.

"I love being a part of the Blues Rugby team & All Blacks," Williams wrote on his Twitter account on Monday.