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Dublin: 10°C Thursday 25 February 2021

Sonny Bill Williams ends speculation over NRL return, and targets 2019 World Cup

‘I can’t believe these kinds of rumours still float around.’

Image: Getty Images

SONNY BILL WILLIAMS has shut down speculation linking him with another return to the NRL and insisted he wants to represent the All Blacks at next year’s Rugby World Cup.

Cross-code star Williams has enjoyed two successful stints in rugby league, winning premierships with Canterbury Bulldogs in 2004 and Sydney Roosters in 2013.

Amid fresh rumours suggesting he could return to the Roosters, Williams says he is more focused on regaining full fitness as he continues to recover from a shoulder injury.

The All Black centre told the Alan Jones Breakfast Show on 2GB: “I’m here in New Zealand, I’m 33. I can’t believe these kinds of rumours still float around.

“I’m trying to stay on the paddock, more so than anything.”

Asked if he would like to represent the All Blacks at a third World Cup, having been part of victorious teams in 2011 and 2015, he added: “100%. I’ve got one more year left on my contract, which is 2019. God willing, I’m a part of that.”

New Zealand will field Jack Goodhue, who enjoyed an impressive try-scoring debut last weekend, and Ngani Laumape as centres against Australia on Saturday, with Williams and Ryan Crotty both out injured.

“They sure can [play],” said Williams of the inexperienced pairing.

“I’m looking forward to seeing those boys out there. I’ve got no doubt that they’ll step up to the plate and deliver.”

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