New Zealand
As you were - Sonny Bill stays with Roosters in 2014
ESPN Staff
October 11, 2013
Chiefs centre Sonny Bill Williams acknowledges the crowd, Chiefs v Sharks, Super Rugby Final, Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, New Zealand, August 4, 2012
Sonny Bill Williams will not be returning to Chiefs colours but not until 2015 © Getty Images

Sonny Bill Williams will stay as a rugby league player in 2014 after it emerged he rejected the offer to return to play for the Chiefs in the 2014 Super Rugby competition. Minutes later the Sydney Roosters sent out a statement that he had agreed to remain with the them next season.

The debate over which code he would be playing in 2014 cranked up a gear when he said he was not available for the Rugby League World Cup only to do an about-turn within a day and declare his availability. It was then reported he had been in discussions with the Chiefs about a return to rugby union next year but after those talks broke down he is staying where he is.

The Roosters rushed out a statement saying Williams had "pledged his commitment to the [club] for season 2014 … [we] anticipate that Williams will officially sign in mid-February 2014 for the remainder of the season on the same terms and conditions as his 2013 contract."

A statement from the New Zealand Rugby Union said it was still keen to pursue Williams in the future and the local media reported sources close to the player saying he was still keen on switching codes in 2015.

NZRU official Neil Sorensen said: "We obviously worked pretty hard to bring Sonny home, and we have had some really good conversations with him. This is disappointing but we know we put our best foot forward, and in the end Sonny has made his decision.

"As we do with many players who leave New Zealand, we will continue to keep the lines of communication open with him about his playing career."

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