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Sonny Bill Williams teams up with Tana Umaga as he plots World Cup comeback

The dual star will play with Counties Manukau and is expected to join up with the Chiefs next year.

Williams blazes away against Ireland in 2012.
Williams blazes away against Ireland in 2012.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

THE ROADMAP TO a Rugby World Cup return has been plotted by Sonny Bill Williams. The rugby union and league star has signed a two-year deal with Counties Manukau in New Zealand and is expected to link up with his former Super Rugby side, the Chiefs, in 2015.

Williams, who has appeared 19 times for the All Blacks and won the World Cup in 2011, will leave Australian NRL side Sydney Roosters at the end of the current season. He has set his sights on retaining the World Cup [union] with New Zealand.

Williams said, “I like what is happening at Counties. I know a few boys in the side and enjoyed working with Tana. I have enjoyed my time in Australia and at the end of the season I will be ready for next chapter of my career back in New Zealand.”

Umaga, who was linked with the Munster coach’s job in 2012, commented, “Sonny is an outstanding man, whose work ethic, ability and motivation are exceptional. He will be a great role model to our younger players and an inspiration to the young people of South Auckland.”

The 28-year-old also played with Toulon for two seasons and has a 6-0 winning record in professional boxing. He has played Ireland four times and won each encounter, scoring two tries in the process. Indeed, the only of SBW’s 19 Test matches he did not win was against South Africa.

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Patrick McCarry

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