Sonny Bill Williams’ potential return to French Rugby club Toulon has come as news to Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson.
Williams has been rumoured to be interested to returning to the NRL in 2017, with his former club the Roosters the widely tipped destination.
However the cross-code star’s manager, Khoder Nasser, met with Toulon’s boss Mourad Boudjellal last week to discuss a short-term deal that would likely keep him in France until at least early next year.
But Robinson, who has maintained a close relationship with Williams since he left the Roosters to return to the 15-man game at the end of 2014, said he was unaware of the New Zealander’s next move.
“That’s speculation. I’m reading what you’re reading,” he said.
When asked on Thursday where Roosters were at with negotiations with the club’s 2013 premiership-winner, Robinson said: “Nowhere at the moment.”
Robinson and Williams were seen dining together last year and the All Blacks superstar also trains in the Roosters gym at Moore Park when in Sydney.
In January, Roosters supremo Nick Politis also met with Nasser, intensifying speculation he would return to the club.
Politis and Williams have a close relationship, with the Roosters boss recently attending the world rugby sevens tournament in Sydney as a guest of the superstar – who played for competition winners New Zealand.
When asked if he would have any discussions with Williams before he heads to the Rio Olympics to represent New Zealand in the Rugby Sevens, Robinson answered: “No I won’t, no.
“We see him every now and then and he’s left a lasting image at the Roosters and he’s on his way to Rio hopefully.
“We wish him all the best there and hope he achieves what he wants to achieve.”