New Sydney Roosters boss Brian Canavan says Sonny Bill Williams would be a welcome addition to the NRL, but claims he doesn’t know if the dual international will be at his club next season.
Williams told Fairfax newspapers at the weekend his move to the Roosters in 2012 was a “done deal”, but Canavan says he knows nothing.
“Because I haven’t stepped into the finances, salary cap or player list world at this stage,” Canavan told a media scrum in Sydney on Tuesday.
“Today’s my first meeting with the staff list.”
But asked if Williams was someone he was interested in having at the Roosters, Canavan said: “The game’s personally interested in him. He’s a wonderful player and rugby league would love to have him back.”
Canavan, who returns to the Roosters after quitting the club in 2008 following 15 years’ previous service, said any baggage Williams might bring would be “pretty good baggage”.
“You’re referring to the five years ago baggage – we’re all different after five years,” he said.
“None of us were inside the Canterbury club at that time so I don’t know what transpired there.”
Williams the part-time boxer is focusing on his fight next month with South African heavyweight Francois Botha, but the World Cup-winning All Black said his move to the tricolours was inevitable after making a handshake agreement with Roosters chairman Nick Politis.
“It’s a done deal. I made it a long time ago,” the 27-year-old told The Sun Herald.
“I know where I’m playing next year and I’m ready to meet the challenge head-on.”
Canavan was also coy about the prospect of Williams’ stablemate, disenchanted Wallabies five-eighth Quade Cooper, running out for the Roosters next season.
“His name hasn’t been mentioned but the player list hasn’t really been in my discussions,” he said.