Dragons centre Jamie Roberts has hailed Sonny Bill Williams as “one of the best to do it at number 12,” after the All Black announced his retirement from all forms of rugby.
The 35-year-old double World Cup winner confirmed that he is seeking to return to boxing for the first time since 2015 and therefore put an end to both his rugby union and league careers. He said that his body could no longer meet the demands of playing rugby week in, week out.
As one of the most iconic and influential players over the past decade, there has undoubtedly been an outpouring of praise directed at the 58-cap All Black, but it does not get much better than the Welshman holding him in such high regard.
One of the best to do it at number 1??2??
Some career ?? @SonnyBWilliams
— Jamie Roberts (@Jamiehuwroberts) March 10, 2021
Despite being two of the premier inside centres in world rugby over the past decade, and two colossal presences on the pitch, Roberts and Williams only lined up opposite one another once in their Test careers. That was in Cardiff in November 2014, although Roberts also came off the bench to face Williams in another Test in 2017, which turned out to be the last match he played for Wales.
Their lack of encounters was partly due to the Kiwi’s varied career, which saw him have stints in rugby league and sevens, where he competed at the 2016 Olympic Games. He also has a 7-0 record in boxing, winning the New Zealand heavyweight title in 2012 and the World Boxing Association (WBA) International heavyweight title in 2013.
Roberts himself added another chapter to his storied career yesterday by signing a new one-year deal with the Dragons.
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