New Zealand Rugby
Sonny Bill skis his way into bad books
August 26, 2010
Sonny Bill Williams is in hot water over his chilly holiday © Getty Images
Sonny Bill Williams' attempt to force his way into the All Blacks fold has hit another mogul after the former rugby league star was reprimanded for taking an unauthorised ski trip when he should have been recovering from injuries.
Former Toulon back Williams has not yet featured for Canterbury since returning to New Zealand due to knee and hamstring niggles and he is expected to play for Canterbury Metro in Saturday's curtain-raiser to Canterbury's ITM Cup clash with Auckland due to his lack of rugby.
Williams wasn't concerned enough about his recovery process not to take a ski trip on the day Canterbury played Tasman in round four, angering Canterbury Rugby Union (CRFU) officials. All Blacks assistant coach Wayne Smith labelled the move a "bad decision".
"He needed to get clearance but he didn't do that," a CRFU spokesman told The Press, adding that the incident had been handled internally. "He's been talked to and reminded of his responsibilities in terms of letting people know what he's doing. He's taken that on the chin and realised he's made a mistake in this instance."
Smith said Williams' actions shouldn't be construed that the 25-year-old lacks professionalism nor the desire to play for the All Blacks.
"(But) It's significant enough for people to be asking questions," Smith told Radio Live. "From my point of view, having met him a few times, I think he is serious, it's a fairly major decision to come out here and follow his dream. He's a young man and all young men make bad decisions at times. This is simply one of those."
Williams' injuries have left him with just 50 minutes of club rugby under his belt since shifting to Christchurch two months ago. Smith said the former National Rugby League star still had a chance to push for a place in the season-ending All Blacks tour to Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.
"Sonny's got to play well for Canterbury before he even gets close to an All Blacks environment," Smith said. "It depends how well he goes. It's probably not the number (of games), it's the quality of them. He could go on and blow the competition wide open or he could take a while to settle in. That will be the relevant point I think. If he looks like he's to the manor born and going to be a very productive member of the team then we'll have a look at him."