The time in NRL of former All Blacks midfielder Sonny Bill Williams has come to an end with the Friday night defeat for the Sydney Roosters, allowing the rugby world to start one of its favourite pastimes again – speculating over the New Zealander’s future.
Williams’ Roosters fell to a semi-final loss to the Canberra Raiders on Friday in a repeat of last year’s Grand Final, dashing his side’s hopes of winning their third straight title.
The dual-code superstar played his first game of a short-term deal with the Roosters in September, in what was his second stint with the club after winning the NRL with them in 2013.
With no great clarity over the 35-year-old’s future, speculation has already started to emerge online over his next destination in either code.
After the All Blacks crashed out of the 2019 World Cup in Japan, Williams moved back to league for his third spell, joining Super League’s newly promoted Toronto Wolfpack in a bumper $10million, two-year deal. But their inability to compete in Super League following the coronavirus break meant he parted ways with the Canadian club.
What will 2021 hold for SBW?
— NRL on Nine (@NRLonNine) October 9, 2020
Williams was coy in his post-match interview on Friday, not ruling out the possibility of returning to Toronto. But for a player that has made his frequent cross-code switches one of the defining features of his career, pandemonium is likely to ensue among the union ranks over a potential return.
Covid-19 has already caused a strange twist to many players’ careers. Former All Blacks captain Kieran Read is one who has made a return to Mitre 10 Cup rugby with Counties Manukau after it seemingly looked like he would end his career in Japan with Toyota Verblitz.
Williams is also a player that has not been afraid to make shock moves throughout his glittering career, so the possibilities are more or less endless as to what his next step could be – anything could happen.
Congrats to the raiders on the win! A big thanks to my fellow teammates, coach, coaching staff, all the people at the roosters, sponsors, supporters, the board and Nick Politis. ??
— Sonny Bill Williams (@SonnyBWilliams) October 9, 2020
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