Sonny Bill Williams has returned to rugby union, 12 days after completing his two year stint in rugby league.
The dual-code rugby international made his return last night for Counties Manukau in the ITM cup. Williams made a cameo appearance, coming on as a second-half substitute.
With 20 minutes left, Williams was slotted in at inside centre and was involved in the build up for one try and set up another that was unlucky to be disallowed in Counties 41-18 win over Auckland.
The 29-year-old made his successful return to rugby union, less than two weeks after finishing his two-year spell with the Sydney Roosters in the NRL – a stint which included back-to-back minor premierships and a premiership victory last year.
His return to rugby has been fast-tracked so he can adjust to the code changes ahead of the All Blacks’ November tour of Europe and then the start of the Super 15 season next year with the Waikato Chiefs.
Williams was instrumental in helping the All Blacks to the 2011 Rugby World Cup trophy and hopes to be part of the title defence at the 2015 World Cup series.
A former New Zealand heavyweight boxing champion, Williams has not ruled out a return to the boxing ring before the Super 15 season starts. – David Telefoni
Top photo from Paul Barnard’s Flickr photostream.