Williams returning to union

Sonny Bill Williams will return to rugby union in 2015 after signing a two-year contract with Waikato Chiefs.

The 28-year-old spent the past 12 months in league with Sydney Roosters and was a key cog in the New Zealand side that reached last month's Rugby League World Cup final.

Williams will remain at the Roosters next season but will return to the Chiefs in time for the 2015 Super Rugby campaign, and could earn a recall to the All Blacks squad as they attempt back-to-back World Cup successes.

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew said: "Sonny showed in his two years with New Zealand rugby that he is an outstanding talent and was a real asset to our game.

"We are delighted to have agreed terms which will see him return to rugby in 2015."

Williams has also spoken about his desire to play for the New Zealand Sevens team ahead of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

"We think it is great that he has made his aspirations clear and if he plays well enough to be considered for selection for those teams, then that is fantastic," said Tew.

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie added: "We made no secret that we were keen to get Sonny back in a Chiefs jersey.

"He's not only a quality player but adds huge value to our environment off the field."


Williams played 19 Tests for the All Blacks and has made more than 30 Super Rugby appearances for the Chiefs and Crusaders from 2010-12.

He won the World Cup with New Zealand in 2011 and helped the Chiefs to the Super Rugby title the following season.

A brief stint in Japan with Panasonic Wild Knights followed before Williams switched codes to join Sydney Roosters in November 2012.

He won the NRL Grand Final against Manly Sea Eagles last October and received a late call-up by New Zealand for the World Cup in the UK.

However, the Kiwis were unable to retain their title, losing 34-2 against Australia.