Sonny Bill Williams felt used in the Rugby World Cup in 2011, and the rejection of a private sponsorship deal wasn’t the only reason.
(Photo credit: BBC via Google Images)
Amongst the All Blacks victory over South Africa overnight, a report on the NZ Herald about an upcoming biography on Sonny Bill Williams has the potential to do some real damage to the image of the code-swapping superstar.
Williams and his camp have refused to comment on the biography, which is believed to be ‘unauthorised’.
Written by Paul Kent, it is written that Williams felt highly frustrated with All Blacks coach Graham Henry for his lack of game time prior to the RWC in 2011, and it reveals that Williams was told to quit NZ rugby before the tournament.
According to the book, Williams left the team shortly after a match against the Wallabies at Eden Park and then flew to Los Angeles with his camp to go shopping. Williams was told that Graham Henry didn’t know who he was by leaving ‘the worlds best player’ on the bench, and it is believed that Williams felt he deserved more time on the field.
Many rugby followers in New Zealand are still resentful of Williams and his “on again off again” presence in rugby union, and being a part-time boxer on the side doesn’t help.
Wether ‘camp Williams’ wants to believe it or not, Williams will likely be a bench warmer for the upcoming World Cup also, and his form at the moment warrants it.
Williams didn’t hit his stride in the All Blacks outfit until 2012 – a season after the World Cup in 2011.
The fact that Williams or anyone else in his camp isn’t commenting on these claims comes as no surprise.
It is highly likely that the events that Paul Kent has written in the biography are entirely true, but many would question the attitude of Williams and his advisors as there has never been any performance from Williams in rugby, this year especially, that suggests he should be a more regular starter in the All Blacks.
Williams is believed to be a man driven by achievement, and not being an integral part of any rugby side doesn’t seem to sit well.
No player is bigger than the game itself, Graham Henry knew that in 2011, and no one, not even Sonny Bill Williams should question that.