JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.



Williams gives NRL a $1m boost without raising a sweat

Video settings

Please Log in to update your video settings

Video will begin in 5 seconds.

Video settings

Please Log in to update your video settings

Sonny Bill Williams signs with Roosters

Sonny Bill Williams announces that he will be signing a one-year deal with the Sydney Roosters to play NRL in the 2013 rugby league season.

PT0M0S 620 349

SONNY BILL WILLIAMS'S $550,000 contract with Sydney Roosters has already earned the NRL double that amount, with the New Zealand television rights now worth an extra $1 million.

While some within the game are unhappy about Williams's return after walking out on a five-year contract with Canterbury in 2008, the efforts of Roosters chairman Nick Politis to bring him back are set to benefit not only the Bondi club but the entire competition.

Bulldogs chief executive Todd Greenberg may have negotiated a clause prohibiting Williams from playing for a rival club before 2013, as well as a $750,000 release fee, but he wrote to the NRL in February when the 27-year-old superstar's return was just a rumour seeking to host the Roosters in round one.

No ties ... Sonny Bill Williams tries to find a suit to fit for his big day.

No ties ... Sonny Bill Williams tries to find a suit to fit for his big day. Photo: Brendan Esposito

The Bulldogs even offered to split the gate at ANZ Stadium with the Roosters, but Politis refused to move the match and is hoping for a full house at Allianz Stadium when this year's 13th-placed team kicks off the NRL season against South Sydney on March 7.

However, rival clubs will get their chance to cash in when they play home games against the Roosters - starting with the Warriors in round two. The Auckland-based club has already made arrangements to move the clash from Mt Smart Stadium to the 50,000 capacity Eden Park.

After being a member of the All Blacks' 2011 World Cup-winning team and developing this year into arguably the biggest star in world rugby, Williams is as big if not bigger in New Zealand than he is in Australia and his presence will boost NRL ratings across the Tasman.

Sonny Bill Williams in a cafe for breakfast prior to his press conference today,where he will be signing a one year deal with the Sydney Roosters to play NRL in the 2013 rugby league season. Click for more photos

Sonny Bill Williams Roosters

Sonny Bill Williams announcest his return to the NRL with Sydney Roosters for the 2013 season. Photo: Brendan Esposito

With the NRL still negotiating a New Zealand broadcast deal, Fairfax has been told that representatives of Sky TV have been asking for confirmation of Williams signing with the Roosters as his return increases the value of the rights by $1m.

However, Williams will only receive about half that amount from his contract with the Roosters, which runs from the time he begins his commitments with the club in February until October 31.

Before then, the New Zealand heavyweight boxing champion plans to fight South Africa's Francois Botha in Brisbane after being forced to postpone their November 24 bout due to surgery for a torn pectoral muscle. He has also not given up hope of finishing his commitments with Japanese rugby powerhouse Panasonic Wild Knights and out of respect to the franchise he did not wear any Roosters gear at Tuesday's press conference.

With his Wild Knights contract worth $1.2m for a 12-match stint, Williams bristles at suggestions he is returning to the NRL because of the new $1 billion television deal as French club Toulon offered him four times what the Roosters are paying the dual international.

In contrast, it is the NRL which will cash in on his return and possibly the international game, with Williams asked at Tuesday's press conference about his availability for the Kiwis in the end-of-season World Cup.

His profile in Britain, Ireland, France, South Africa and Japan, as well as Australia and New Zealand, would be a massive boost for the tournament but Williams's first priority is performing for the Roosters.

''This is going to be one of the biggest challenges of my career,'' Williams said of his comeback to a code he hasn't played for more than four years. ''A lot of people will be writing me off. Every time I step on that field there will probably be a target on me.''

Inevitably, Williams was asked about the way he departed the Bulldogs and whether he would offer another apology - having done so in an interview with Fairfax when he returned to Sydney in 2009 after his first season with Toulon. But after deciding before the press conference that he was only going to focus on his future with the Roosters, Williams palmed off the questions the way he has so many opponents.

''Today is about me signing with the Roosters and that's what I'm going to stick to,'' Williams said.

34 comments

  • "Show me the Money"

    Commenter
    FROG
    Location
    MANLY
    Date and time
    November 14, 2012, 9:41AM
    • $BW soon to be joined by I$$Y Falau. We were always told that nobody is bigger than the game, but obviously that is wrong.
      $BW seems to be bigger than anything. He can break contracts, he can box when he wants, he can play Rugby when he wants, he can tell his club who he will play against and who he wont, who is running this show?

      Commenter
      NRL "NO Direction"
      Date and time
      November 14, 2012, 10:02AM
    • Good for Sonny Bill. You gotta look after #1.

      Commenter
      blue
      Date and time
      November 14, 2012, 10:08AM
    • Mi$$ed the point! He isn't bigger than the game. The game sees that his name is worth $$$ as a part of their marketing campaign, and so wi$ to ca$h in on it. Where is the problem in that?????

      Commenter
      TommyP
      Date and time
      November 14, 2012, 10:26AM
    • Tommy P,

      So according to your logic we should make Eddie Obeid Prime Minister because he makes a lot of money for himself and the Labour Party and most of the public think he's a Jerk.

      Commenter
      NRL "NO Direction"
      Date and time
      November 14, 2012, 11:32AM
  • This petulant, irresponsible, overrated, immature prat should not be allowed back into the NRL the way he walked out on the dogs in 2008 was just a shameful display which it must be noted had a very bad impact on all the other players as well.

    Just a selfish individual and whats worse in all likelyhood he will do it again.

    All you SBW fans can now slip into troll mode

    Bye Now

    Commenter
    PastorLongrod
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    November 14, 2012, 9:54AM
    • I agree, how can the NRL let him back in after he turned his back on the Dogs (who gave him his start in NRL)......

      Commenter
      the tron
      Location
      everywhere
      Date and time
      November 14, 2012, 11:39AM
    • Am no supporter of Sonny Bill, but he paid out his contract, has served his time away from the game and honoured a hand shake agreement that pockets him less money than playing union for more money. He has paid his dues for his mistakes and is generously coming back to make money for rugby league on the back of his success away from rugby league.

      He has turned into the ultimate professional and plays across codes which is something that is not done anymore these days with the professionalisation of modern sport. Sure players will switch codes and do stints there but there is no genuine dual internationals who can turn up and play league one week and the union the next. The Wallabies should take a page out of NZ's book and recruit Billy Slater during the RL off season because their back line is a disgrace.

      Troll mode? I look at your comments and laugh, you wonder why Rugby League doesn't have a big following overseas and will never be the greatest ball game in the world. The reason is only because there are too many people within rugby league circles willing to bicker and moan about how slighted they feel instead of doing things to promote the game abroad. At least the Roosters have stepped up to the plate and were willing to take a chance on this kid after being cast out as the black sheep by the NRL. It's paid off now and everyone's begging to play them including the Bulldogs

      Commenter
      El Seano
      Date and time
      November 14, 2012, 11:57AM
    • El Seano, then how ironic is it then that $BW thinks he is being honourable by coming to the roosters for a handshake agreement (of which any bloke could do) yet a does a runner on a physical contract? Please, spare me the "great for the game", the bloke is a hypocrite and shouldn't be aloud back in.

      Commenter
      Aidos
      Location
      Brissie
      Date and time
      November 14, 2012, 1:16PM
    • Cast out as a black sheep? He was never banned from the NRL, he was never fined by the NRL for breaking his contract and the only ones who had to pay for it were the Bulldogs. Why shoudl the Dogs have paid SBW for games her never played for them? Why would they pay him for leaving a great big hole in their back line?

      SBW, without warning, broke a contract of a club who took him in and gave him a chance as a junior. At the drop of a hat he left the country, left his team stranded (including those team mates who were let go so the Dogs could afford SBW) and made no apology to anyone. By letting him back into the league we tell every junior player out there that this behaviour and disrespect is completely acceptable. If it goes unpunished, then we only promote it as acceptable.

      As for your dual international point, agree that there are far fewer dual internationals these days, however many aspects of alot of the games have changed. (Also, I do agree the Wallaby back line is in shambles). How would the Melbourne Storm (and their supports) feel about the ARU if Slater was injured in the off season? Football is big buisness (with may clubs only just sirviving) these days and most clubs was their players 100% focussed on the primary clubs interests. Comments were rasied agian this year around how the representative games impact the clubs success, so releasing players for another code carries alot of risk.

      Commenter
      the tron
      Location
      everywhere
      Date and time
      November 14, 2012, 1:58PM

More comments

Comments are now closed

Related Coverage

HuffPost Australia

NRL Season 2016

Round 1
Thu, 03 MarTimes shown AEDT
PAR vs BRI 20:05Pirtek
Fri, 04 MarTimes shown AEDT
MAN vs CBY 20:05BO
Sat, 05 MarTimes shown AEDT
CBR vs PEN 15:00GIO
WST vs NZW 17:30CSS
NQL vs CRO 19:301300
Sun, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs SOU 16:00AS
GCT vs NEW 18:30Cbus
Mon, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
MEL vs STG 19:00AAMI
Fri, 09 SepTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
Sat, 10 SepTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
vs 00:00TBA
Sun, 11 SepTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Thu, 10 MarTimes shown AEDT
PEN vs CBY 20:05Pepp
Fri, 11 MarTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs NZW 20:05SUN
Sat, 12 MarTimes shown AEDT
CBR vs SYD 15:00GIO
SOU vs NEW 17:30ANZ
PAR vs NQL 19:30Pirtek
Sun, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
CRO vs STG 16:00Shark Park
MEL vs GCT 18:30AAMI
Mon, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
WST vs MAN 19:00VAS
Fri, 16 SepTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
Sat, 17 SepTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Thu, 17 MarTimes shown AEDT
NQL vs SYD 20:051300
Fri, 18 MarTimes shown AEDT
CBY vs PAR 20:05ANZ
Sat, 19 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs CBR 17:30HS
PEN vs BRI 19:30Pepp
GCT vs WST 21:30Cbus
Sun, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
NZW vs MEL 14:00MSS
STG vs SOU 16:00SCG
Mon, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
MAN vs CRO 19:00BO
Fri, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
Sat, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 25 MarTimes shown AEDT
SOU vs CBY 16:00ANZ
BRI vs NQL 20:05SUN
Sat, 26 MarTimes shown AEDT
CBR vs GCT 17:30GIO
SYD vs MAN 19:30AS
Sun, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
STG vs PEN 16:00WIN
Mon, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
NZW vs NEW 14:00MSS
WST vs PAR 16:00ANZ
CRO vs MEL 19:00Shark Park
Sun, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Thu, 31 MarTimes shown AEDT
MAN vs SOU 20:05BO
Fri, 01 AprTimes shown AEDT
GCT vs BRI 20:05Cbus
Sat, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
MEL vs NEW 15:00AAMI
WST vs CRO 17:30CSS
NQL vs STG 19:301300
Sun, 03 AprTimes shown AEST
SYD vs NZW 14:00AS
PAR vs PEN 16:00Pirtek
Mon, 04 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY vs CBR 19:00Belmore Sports Ground
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Thu, 07 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI vs STG 19:50SUN
Fri, 08 AprTimes shown AEST
SOU vs SYD 19:50ANZ
Sat, 09 AprTimes shown AEST
PAR vs CBR 15:00Pirtek
NZW vs MAN 17:30MSS
PEN vs NQL 19:30Pepp
Sun, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
CRO vs GCT 14:00Shark Park
NEW vs WST 16:00HS
Mon, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
MEL vs CBY 19:00AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Thu, 14 AprTimes shown AEST
MAN vs PAR 19:50BO
Fri, 15 AprTimes shown AEST
NQL vs SOU 19:501300
Sat, 16 AprTimes shown AEST
GCT vs STG 15:00Cbus
CBY vs NZW 17:30Westpac Stadium
BRI vs NEW 19:30SUN
Sun, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
CBR vs CRO 14:00GIO
WST vs MEL 16:00VAS
Mon, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
SYD vs PEN 19:00AS
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 22 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI vs SOU 19:50SUN
Sat, 23 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY vs GCT 15:00ANZ
CBR vs WST 17:30GIO
NQL vs PAR 19:301300
Sun, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
CRO vs PEN 16:00Shark Park
Mon, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
NEW vs MAN 14:00HS
STG vs SYD 16:00AS
MEL vs NZW 19:00AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Thu, 28 AprTimes shown AEST
SOU vs WST 19:50ANZ
PAR vs CBY 19:50ANZ
Sat, 30 AprTimes shown AEST
PEN vs CBR 15:00Carrington Park
SYD vs NEW 17:30CCS
MAN vs NQL 19:30BO
Sun, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
NZW vs STG 12:00MSS
GCT vs MEL 14:00Cbus
CRO vs BRI 16:00Shark Park
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Thu, 12 MayTimes shown AEST
STG vs CBR 19:50Jubilee Oval
Fri, 13 MayTimes shown AEST
PAR vs SOU 19:50Pirtek
Sat, 14 MayTimes shown AEST
PEN vs NZW 15:00AMI Stadium
MEL vs NQL 17:30SUN
MAN vs BRI 19:30SUN
Sun, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
NEW vs CRO 14:00HS
WST vs CBY 16:00ANZ
Mon, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
GCT vs SYD 19:00Cbus
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Thu, 19 MayTimes shown AEST
SOU vs STG 19:50ANZ
Fri, 20 MayTimes shown AEST
NQL vs BRI 19:501300
Sat, 21 MayTimes shown AEST
WST vs NEW 15:00CSS
NZW vs CBR 17:30Yarrow Stadium
CRO vs MAN 19:30Shark Park
Sun, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
PEN vs GCT 14:00Pepp
CBY vs SYD 16:00ANZ
Mon, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
PAR vs MEL 19:00Pirtek
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Fri, 27 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI vs WST 19:50SUN
Sat, 28 MayTimes shown AEST
STG vs NQL 19:30WIN
Sun, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
CBR vs CBY 16:00GIO
Mon, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
NEW vs PAR 19:00HS
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Fri, 03 JunTimes shown AEST
CBR vs MAN 19:50GIO
Sat, 04 JunTimes shown AEST
NZW vs BRI 15:00MSS
NQL vs NEW 17:301300
MEL vs PEN 19:30AAMI
Sun, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs WST 16:00AS
SOU vs GCT 18:30nib Stadium
Mon, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
CBY vs CRO 19:00ANZ
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Thu, 09 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI vs CBR 19:50SUN
Fri, 10 JunTimes shown AEST
WST vs SOU 19:50ANZ
Sat, 11 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW vs NZW 15:00HS
PAR vs GCT 17:30TIO
SYD vs MEL 19:30AS
Sun, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
MAN vs PEN 16:00BO
Mon, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
STG vs CBY 16:00ANZ
CRO vs NQL 19:00Shark Park
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Fri, 17 JunTimes shown AEST
SOU vs PAR 19:50ANZ
Sat, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
STG vs MEL 19:30WIN
Sun, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
NZW vs SYD 16:00MSS
Mon, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
GCT vs MAN 19:00Cbus
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Fri, 24 JunTimes shown AEST
PEN vs SOU 19:50Pepp
Sat, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW vs STG 15:00HS
CRO vs NZW 17:30Shark Park
CBY vs BRI 19:30ANZ
Sun, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
GCT vs CBR 14:00Cbus
MEL vs WST 16:00AAMI
Mon, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
NQL vs MAN 19:001300
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Thu, 30 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs CBY 19:50AS
Fri, 01 JulTimes shown AEST
BRI vs MEL 19:50SUN
Sat, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW vs GCT 15:00MSS
WST vs PEN 17:30ANZ
CRO vs PAR 19:30Shark Park
Sun, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR vs NEW 14:00GIO
SOU vs NQL 16:00Barlow Park
Mon, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN vs STG 19:00BO
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 08 JulTimes shown AEST
PAR vs SYD 19:50Pirtek
Sat, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
CBY vs WST 19:30ANZ
Sun, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN vs CRO 16:00Pepp
Mon, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR vs NQL 19:00GIO
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 15 JulTimes shown AEST
STG vs GCT 19:50Jubilee Oval
Sat, 16 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN vs NZW 17:30nib Stadium
SOU vs BRI 19:30ANZ
Sun, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
NEW vs MEL 14:00HS
PEN vs PAR 16:00Pepp
Mon, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs CRO 19:00AS
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Thu, 21 JulTimes shown AEST
NQL vs CBY 19:501300
Fri, 22 JulTimes shown AEST
BRI vs PEN 19:50SUN
Sat, 23 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR vs NZW 15:00GIO
GCT vs PAR 17:30Cbus
MEL vs SYD 19:30AAMI
Sun, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
CRO vs NEW 14:00Shark Park
STG vs WST 16:00ANZ
Mon, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
SOU vs MAN 19:00ANZ
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Wed, 27 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW vs PEN 22:00MSS
Thu, 28 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs BRI 00:00AS
CBY vs STG 00:00ANZ
GCT vs CRO 00:00Cbus
PAR vs WST 00:00ANZ
SOU vs CBR 00:00ANZ
MAN vs NEW 00:00BO
NQL vs MEL 00:001300
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Thu, 04 AugTimes shown AEST
STG vs BRI 00:00WIN
PAR vs MAN 00:00Pirtek
CRO vs CBR 00:00Shark Park
NEW vs CBY 00:00HS
MEL vs SOU 00:00AAMI
GCT vs NZW 00:00Cbus
WST vs NQL 00:00VAS
PEN vs SYD 00:00Pepp
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Wed, 10 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs SOU 22:00MSS
Thu, 11 AugTimes shown AEST
CBY vs MAN 00:00ANZ
BRI vs PAR 00:00SUN
WST vs GCT 00:00CSS
STG vs CRO 00:00Jubilee Oval
NEW vs PEN 00:00HS
SYD vs NQL 00:00AS
CBR vs MEL 00:00GIO
View All Fixtures
Round 24
Thu, 18 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI vs CBY 00:00SUN
SYD vs STG 00:00AS
NEW vs GCT 00:00HS
NQL vs NZW 00:001300
MAN vs MEL 00:00BO
CBR vs PAR 00:00GIO
PEN vs WST 00:00Pepp
SOU vs CRO 00:00ANZ
View All Fixtures
Round 25
Wed, 24 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs WST 22:00MSS
Thu, 25 AugTimes shown AEST
CBY vs NQL 00:00Belmore Sports Ground
MEL vs BRI 00:00AAMI
GCT vs PEN 00:00Cbus
MAN vs CBR 00:00BO
CRO vs SYD 00:00Shark Park
NEW vs SOU 00:00HS
PAR vs STG 00:00Pirtek
View All Fixtures
Round 26
Wed, 31 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs PAR 22:00MSS
Thu, 01 SepTimes shown AEST
BRI vs SYD 00:00SUN
CBY vs SOU 00:00ANZ
STG vs NEW 00:00Jubilee Oval
NQL vs GCT 00:001300
MEL vs CRO 00:00AAMI
WST vs CBR 00:00VAS
PEN vs MAN 00:00Pepp
View All Fixtures

Follow Us on Facebook

Featured advertisers