The door is “100% open” for Sonny Bill Williams to return to the Kiwis fold.
Yesterday, Williams announced he had signed a one-year deal with NRL side the Sydney Roosters, and a return to the game is something that New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) has been waiting for.
“It’s good to see that Sonny’s finally come out and said he’d be back in the game (rugby league) and it’s something we’ve been looking forward to for a long time, says Tony Kemp, NZRL high performance manager and Kiwis team manager.
When Williams walked out on his contract with the Canterbury Bulldogs in 2008, he also walked out on the Kiwis in a World Cup year. The Kiwi side went on to claim the title, and Kemp feels that would have hurt Williams, missing out on being part of it.
At the media conference yesterday, Williams was non-committal about next year’s World Cup, but Kemp feels he’ll be part of it.
“Of course we’ll talk to Sonny,” he says. “He’s got a lot on (right now). I think as the year goes on Sonny Bill will want to represent at the highest level possible.”
Kemp said that Williams was “probably one of the best players” to don the black (Kiwi) jersey.
“We’ll do out homework. We’ll talk to Sonny and see where he’s at.”
Watch the video for the full interview.