Sonny Bill Williams, there’s a lot to be said about him. Whether it be his physique, skill or strength, he’s almost the definition of perfection at what he does.
Sonny Bill Williams, adored in the lives of many, is the kind of athlete that impacts the world like no other. At the age of 15 Sonny Bill Williams was signed by the Canterbury Bulldogs. His ability and skill was immediately noticed by John Ackland, the recruitment officer for the Bulldogs at the time.
As his career moved on he finally made his debut for the Bulldogs at the age of 18. In his breakthrough year, in only a matter of a few games, Sonny Bill Williams became the youngest ever New Zealand test player, making his debut for the Kiwis against Australia in 2004. Additionally, he was part of a premiership winning side in his rookie year and things couldn’t have been better for him.
Sonny Bill Williams was the hot topic in the Rugby League world at the time and virtually every club was after his signature. Some offers were reportedly double what he was offered to stay at the Bulldogs. He decided to stay with the club that gave him a once in a lifetime opportunity, and penned a two-year deal. However, over this two-year period, Sonny Bill Williams went through several hardships including several injuries and severe criticism that he was nothing but an injury prone player. At the end of Williams’ two-year contract Williams accepted a five-year deal in 2007 with the Bulldogs, seeing him stay with the Belmore based club until the end of 2012, however the unpredictable happened 1 year later in 2008.
Sonny Bill Williams was spotted leaving the country as he hopped on a flight to France to accept a contract with Toulon Rugby Union club in a move that changed his career forever. He was earning millions of dollars, playing like no other and was reportedly offered the largest ever contract by the NZRU as well as the number 12 jersey to play for the All Blacks. Williams rejected the offer and pursued a contract with the Canterbury Rugby Union club, where he and his teammates won the Ranfurly shield and were crowned ITM Champions after defeating Waikato. He was later notified that he was selected to tour Hong Kong with the All Blacks, further expanding his Rugby career.
Losing isn’t something Sonny Bill Williams believes in. Any team he plays for he wants to be the best and win every possible accolade in every arena. He continued that winning attitude when he played in the Super Rugby competition for the Crusaders. This time the team he played for fell short and lost to the Queensland Reds in the Super Rugby Grand Final, however it showed the professionalism he brings to a team, making it to the biggest arena in every team he has appeared for and shutting out criticism that he is nothing but an injury prone player.
Later that year, Williams played his first Rugby Union test match for the All Blacks and was eventually part of the All Blacks World Cup winning side, scoring a record-breaking 3 tries as a substitute player, again showing the skill and professionalism he brings to any Rugby team he plays for on the biggest of stages.
In 2012, everything Williams touched continued to turn into gold, as he won a Super Rugby title with the Chiefs, becoming only one of 3 players to win a title both in Super Rugby and the NRL, scoring the final try against the Sharks, leaping into the crowd for good measure and celebrated a well-deserved Super Rugby title win.
In between Rugby Union seasons, Williams took up professional boxing as an additional source of income, so far winning a total of 6 from 6 matches, and is a former NZ Heavy Weight Champion and WBA International Champion and only losing his titles by forfeit for not defending them within the 6 month time frame.
In late 2012 and early 2013, Williams continued to build his bank account signing a 12 match deal with Japanese Rugby team The Panasonic Wild Knights, reportedly earning $1M for his 12 game stint, as well as announcing that he will return to The NRL with The Sydney Roosters, penning a 1 year deal.
There was a lot of media hype in the return of the man known as “SBW”. People knew what he looked like, what he was capable of doing and how much he as an individual meant to any sporting team he played for. A lot of negative criticism aimed at Sonny Bill Williams direction from social media and other forms of entertainment, with remarks stating that he was injury prone, he’ll walk out on this contract too, and that pen on paper means nothing to this man. Williams proved them all wrong, missing only 1 game due to injury throughout the season, winning the Provan-Summons trophy with the Sydney Roosters. He was instrumental in leading the Roosters to premiership glory and was voted the RLIF International player of the year, renown as the best player on the planet.
Sonny Bill Williams continues to silence critics and whether it’s negative feedback or good feedback, everyone talks about Sonny Bill Williams. He is the kind of individual that you can not stop talking about. Whether it be his incredible good looks, his athleticism or his professionalism, you know that Sonny Bill Williams will continue to be talked about. Even 2013 search engine statistic proved this, stating that Sonny Bill Williams was the most Google-searched athlete all over Australia.
Williams currently still continues to break records being the only Rugby League player ever to be signed up on a GLOBAL ambassadorship with Adidas, being 1 of 5 in the world, the others being Lionel Messi, David Beckham, Andy Murray and Derrick Rose.
You’d think that it may be time for someone like Sonny Bill Williams to walk out as the champion that he is, but he will walk out as a champion much later on in his Rugby career, announcing that he will return to the Chiefs in Super Rugby, joining Counties in the ITM Cup and joining The All Blacks in the 2015 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics.
Sonny Bill Williams is truly a champion and will go down as one of the greatest cross-code athletes of all time.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
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