SBW goes out in style
Sun, 26 Aug 2012 8:33a.m.
By Robert Lowe
Sonny Bill Williams' realisation that he is about to relinquish a highly coveted place in the All Blacks "circle" will be softened by his winning farewell.
In his 19th rugby Test, and his last for the foreseeable future, Williams played a prominent role as New Zealand scored a dominant 22-0 win over Australia in Auckland to lock up the Bledisloe Cup for another season.
It means the dual international will leave for Japanese club Panasonic having done the double of helping the All Blacks to retain the trans-Tasman silverware and also being a key part of the Chiefs' inaugural Super Rugby title.
"It's just good to finish on a high note, not only tonight, but also with the Chiefs," he said.
"Who knows, hopefully down the track, I can come back and play in New Zealand and try to put my hand up again to be part of this group again."
After his lucrative contract with Panasonic, the 27-year-old Williams is switching codes again and heading back to the NRL next year.
He departs with a touch of sadness, saying: "It's going to be tough leaving the boys."
Williams tells of the message skipper Richie McCaw gives the players before a Test.
"Every week, we get into a bit of a huddle just before we run out and Skip says, `this group of men, there's a lot of people who want to be involved in this circle'.
"You feel it, but you don't really understand it until you're out of the circle."
Against the Wallabies at Eden Park, Williams was a constant threat at second five-eighth and was twice involved in the move that produced the game's only try, to fullback Israel Dagg.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said Williams - who switched from rugby league in 2008 - had developed in a big way in the past 12 months and would be hugely missed.
Last year, he had all the tricks but didn't know when to use them, Hansen said.
"This year, he's been in scintillating form and he's a big reason the Chiefs won," he said.
"Every Test match he has played this year, he has been outstanding."
Hansen understood why Williams was leaving and looked forward to the day he decided to return.
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27/08/2012 12:51:06 a.m.
we miss u sunny
26/08/2012 9:44:32 a.m.
Sibulele Lwando Mketo wrote:
Sonny Bill Williams is an inspirational player to many young stars out ther, hope he keeps doing wonders for All Blacks.
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