SBW to stick with rugby union

Sonny Bill Williams has signed a three-year deal with the Blues that will keep him in New Zealand until the 2019 World Cup.

The 30-year-old revealed family played a major part in his decision to sign with the Auckland-based franchise instead of the Chiefs, who he won the Super Rugby title with in 2012.

'I am an Auckland boy and feel like I am coming home,' Williams said. 'One of the biggest factors is my young family. I want to have more kids and it's not just about me. We travel a lot and my wife needs support. My wife doesn't have any family here and most of my family are in Auckland. That weighed a lot on my decision. And it's no secret me and [Blues coach] Tana [Umaga] go way back.'

Umaga said Williams’s influence will be significant for the franchise on and off the field.

'Sonny is a marquee international player, and first and foremost he is here to play. His experience and expertise will be a major asset to a young backline. Off the field he brings leadership and a thoroughly professional attitude and approach that will hugely benefit our club and our players.'

VIDEO: Williams on signing for the Blues

Photo: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

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Simon Borchardt