‘Freak of nature’ Sonny Bill Williams hangs up his boots
Dual-code super star Sonny Costs Williams revealed his retirement from rugby Thursday however the New Zealander isn’t quiting on sport, stating he now wishes to focus on his boxing profession.
Williams, 35, a two-time Rugby World Cup winner, validated he would no longer play rugby league for Australia’s National Rugby League attire the Sydney Roosters.
“A massive thank you to the public and fans for all the support over years. To my many teammates, thanks for the lessons and help along the way,” he tweeted.
“It wasn’t a perfect journey, but the lessons have helped shape me into the man I’m proud to be off the field today.”
Williams won World Cups in 2011 and 2015 with the All Blacks, along with various Bledisloe Cup titles versus Australia and Rugby Championships.
He likewise won NRL premierships in 2004 and 2013, represented New Zealand in rugby 7s at the 2016 Olympics and won all 7 of his expert heavyweight boxing bouts, consisting of a New Zealand title belt.
In rugby union, Williams played in the centres and was renowned for his wonder one-handed offloads and intense taking on, likewise making a credibility as one of the most devoted fitness instructors in sport.
Off the field, the devout Muslim utilized his profile to speak out on causes such as refugee well-being and cultural tolerance.
Previous All Blacks coach Steve Hansen in 2015 ranked Williams the very best professional athlete he had actually ever worked with.
“The best athlete I’ve coached from a pure athlete sense, he’s a freak of nature,” he stated at the time.
– ‘Offlead king’ –
World Rugby hailed “an incredible career across multiple sports” after Williams’ statement and the All Blacks likewise commemorated the 58-Test veteran.
“The offload king. Thank you for all you’ve given to New Zealand rugby and fans all around the world, @SonnyBWilliams. Enjoy retirement uso (brother),” the group tweeted.
Williams stated retiring from group sports would permit him to prepare much better for his boxing bouts, providing him as much as 6 months to train, instead of 6 weeks.
“I spoke to my manager, I said ‘Bro I’m keen to get back into the ring, I’ve got a couple of years, I’m 35’,” he informed Australia’s Channel 9.
“I spoke to the wife first and she had blank eyes but, like usual, she supported me.”
Williams last battled in 2015 versus American journeyman Chauncy Welliver and the emphasize of his pugilistic profession was when he knocked out Clarence Tillman for the New Zealand heavyweight belt in 2012.
He is now based in Sydney and a battle versus previous Cronulla Sharks enforcer Paul Gallen would produce big interest in Australia, although Gallen firmly insisted Thursday he had “bigger fish to fry”.
Williams’ handlers were supposedly attempting to establish a battle with Mike Tyson in 2015 however the American declined, stating it would be “an insult to boxing” and he would just deal with “a real boxer”.
Aside from boxing, Roosters coach Trent Robinson stated Williams would work with the NRL group in an off-field capability, perhaps with an eye on ending up being a coach.
“He’s definitely got the tools to be a coach — he’s got presence, he’s got game understanding in-depth and intuition in the game,” he stated.
Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.