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13th Nov 2012 9:23am | By Editor
It’s finally official - Sonny Bill Williams has signed with the Sydney Roosters on a one-year contract and will return to the NRL code he controversially deserted for big bucks in French rugby union.
Williams, 27, told a press conference that he felt obliged to go with the Eastern Suburbs side after the club’s chairman Nick Politis approached him three years ago.
"If I'm honest with myself I have to admit it was pretty tough to honour the agreement that Nick and I (made)," Williams said.
Talking of honour and agreements, this is the same bloke who ditched the Canterbury Bulldogs mid-season, 48 hours before a game, and went to France to play for Toulon in 2008.
Pressed on the most obvious question about his return, the player who has since won a Rugby World Cup with the All Blacks and become New Zealand’s heavyweight boxing champion said: "Today is about me signing with the Roosters and that's what I'm going to stick to."
His former teammate, the hugely respected Hazam El Masri said Williams, nicknamed “Money Bill” for his defection to union, called on him to apologise to the Bulldogs for the manner in which he left the club in the lurch.
"He is entilted to his opinion and that's all I have to say about that," Williams offers.
He also said he’s not fussed about the reception he’ll get when he lines up for round one.
"I can't dwell on the negatives," he told journalists. "That is probably one thing I was thinking about - will I talk about it or shouldn't I?
"I can just be honest ... there is a time and a place for that and I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.”
"If I sit here and dwell on it, I won't be able to sleep at night."
Williams has been playing a short stint of rugby in Japan said to be worth $1m for the Panasonic Wild Knights, who allowed him to take leave to prepare for the boxing bout against Francois Botha, but injured his shoulder and required surgery.
Although allowing Williams to box was said to be a clinching factor in lading his signature for the Roosters, Williams said he wouldn’t fight during the NRL season.
However, he may not make himself available for New Zealand’s defence of the Rugby League World Cup in England, Wales and France so he can fit a fight in.
Images via Getty
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