SBW voted league’s best
- 28 Nov 2013
Sonny Bill Williams has received rugby league's International Player of the Year award.
The former All Black, who will return to rugby union in 2015, played a key role in the Sydney Roosters' title-winning campaign in this year's National Rugby League and is part of the New Zealand team that is looking to retain the World Cup by beating Australia in Saturday's final at Manchester.
Only Australian players have won the accolade since its inception in 2008.
Williams was in tears after his New Zealand team-mates paid tribute to him by performing an impromptu haka.
'I wasn't really teary until I saw the boys do the haka, that means the world to me,' he said. 'All I want is respect. After the way I left the game I lost a lot of respect but this year I just tried to carry myself and get across the real me.
'The biggest thing for me is earning the respect of my fellow players and coaches. I think that is why I was a little bit emotional. You don't get a haka done to you from the brothers for no reason if they don't respect you.'
Photo: Paul Thomas/Getty Images
‘Youngsters made an impact’
What former Springbok coach NICK MALLETT had to say on SuperSport about Saturday's matches involving South African teams.
De Allende’s will to succeed
Damian de Allende made a statement in the early rounds of Super Rugby, writes JON CARDINELLI.
‘Lions must attack short side more’
JOHN MITCHELL, writing on the Vodacom Rugby Portal, says the Lions still have room for improvement.