NZ Rugby won’t be drawn on SBW’s future

Cross-code star Sonny Bill Williams’s future in rugby is still unclear despite reports the announcement of a three-year deal with New Zealand Rugby is imminent.

NZ Rugby chief executive Steve Tew wouldn’t be drawn at Sunday’s All Blacks naming on Williams’ future, and a spokesperson confirmed on Monday that NZ Rugby still had no comment.

The lure of a third World Cup campaign with the All Blacks is believed to have played a key part in his re-signing, which the New Zealand Herald said would be announced on Wednesday.

Williams first played professional rugby for Toulon in 2008 after walking out on the NRL’s Canterbury Bulldogs mid-season, then signed with the Crusaders in June 2010.

He was part of the All Blacks’ 2011 Rugby World Cup-winning team, going on to take the Super Rugby title with the Chiefs in 2012 before a stint playing Top League rugby in Japan.

He then returned to the NRL for two seasons with the Sydney Roosters, picking up a premiership title in the process.

Williams was back playing rugby for Counties Manukau in September 2014, and was named in the All Blacks for their end-of-year Northern Hemisphere tour.

He went on to feature for the Chiefs in the 2015 Super Rugby campaign despite an early niggling back injury, and played a key role for the All Blacks in their successful Rugby World Cup defence.

Williams is among a bevy of players chasing an All Blacks Sevens spot for the Rio Olympics.

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