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Sonny Bill Williams

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Sonny Bill Williams has explained why he made his hugely controversial switch to French rugby union side Toulon.

news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rug...

To put it bluntly, he has a lot of reasons - and they all have dollar signs in front of them.

"If a bus driver is on $40,000 and gets offered a lot more to go somewhere else, what do you think they're going to do?" he said.

"Are they going to change bus companies? Or are they going to sit there and say, 'all these people want me to stay here because I'm the best bus driver around'. It's just common sense."

I remember being part of a scrum of journalists trying to get their microphones under Williams' nose at the Galpharm Stadium after he produced a brilliant display in the Kiwis' defeat by Great Britain in the 2004 Tri-Nations.

news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rug...

At just 19, the excited chat was that here was a player who could become one of the all-time greats: size, strength, pace, awesome skill, tackles that left opponents in heaps on the floor - Williams had it all.

A softer-spoken, more humble sportsman would have been difficult to meet at the time. He genuinely didn't seem to know what all the fuss was about.

But a few years in the unremitting spotlight of the NRL and Williams seems to be a bit more forthright in his opinions.

"Hopefully some good can come out of what I've done and it wakes everybody up and they realise that something needs to be done," he said after walking out on his Bulldogs deal just one year into a five-year contract.

"What I've done, it's shown it's just not about me, it's about the boys getting a fair go, you know what I mean?

"It's about them having the balls to stand up for themselves and get what they should be getting."

Williams, still just 23, is facing legal action from both the Bulldogs and the NRL, and is not likely to win any popularity contests in Sydney for the foreseeable future.

But what do you make of his reasoning? Do you buy his theory that NRL players are underpaid for what they do?

Wouldn't we all jump ships at the drop of the hat if someone offered us much more money?

What does all this mean for the NRL? Is this, combined with the departure of Mark Gasnier to French rugby union as well, the start of an exodus? What can Australian rugby league do about it?

And from a purely playing point of view, how do you think SBW will get on in union?

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posted Aug 23, 2008

http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,24227160-5001023,00.html

confirming what us in THE GREASTEST GAME already knew.

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posted Aug 25, 2008

He is gone .. get over it. I know it's hard for some people because he was a great player and some of you are still traumatised but you must learn to let go..

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posted Aug 25, 2008

just pointing out to you willie boy about the liers in your sport.

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posted Aug 28, 2008

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLOxt8Qevnc
Sonny Bill Williams' first try in Rugby for Toulon against Clermont after only 2 minutes on the field. You here about people having aura, well SBW has it.The coach Tana Umaga injected SBW into the game for high impact and the team lifted to victory.

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posted Aug 28, 2008

first try in UNION willie, not rugby. get it right.

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posted Aug 29, 2008

Well that was a thrilling piece of play erm Bit of ariel ping-pong backed by an inability to catch a ball and SBW simply has to pick it up and run 20 metres with no-one in front of him.

He's pinching money. Good riddance if thats the challenge he craves so much.

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posted Aug 29, 2008

Greek writer Aesop wrote a famous fable about a fox that cannot reach some grapes on a high vine and announces that they are sour.Listen up foxes. The booming French rugby competition is looking to buy marquee players! On the back of signing SBW, Toulon has sold out every home game and gained additional sponsorship of around $8.5 million. SBW and Luke Rooney playing French rugby at Toulon, Mark Gasnier at Stade Francais, Greg Inglis and Johnathan Thurston and others will join in time - the NRL is getting payback for stealing players from Union in the 1970's, 80's and 90's.The Top 14 in France has 207 foreign players in the top division. Since the World Cup, rugby's popularity has reached levels never seen before and the influx of foreign 'stars' will be filling stadiums all over the country.

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posted Aug 31, 2008

Proof, if needed, that onion can't produce talent of it's own whistle

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posted Aug 31, 2008

i don't know what wee willie is on, but i would like some because for sure he ain't in the real world.

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posted Aug 31, 2008

Huddersfield I'm on french wine made from grapes of high vine and your beginning to sound not half bad.

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