You can already hear the haters lining up to take a swipe at Sonny Bill Williams. You can hear them frothing at the mouth at the chance to drag his name even further into the mud. Sorry but its about time that we let bygones be bygones and let one of the most talented footballers in the world back into our game.
Sonny Bill Williams has apparently signed one of the most lucrative deals in rugby league worth around $800,000 a season to play for the Sydney Roosters from 2013.
I say thank god and congratulations to the Roosters.
Yes Williams walked out on the Canterbury Bulldogs and yes he snaked his team-mates, the fans and his friends. What made it hurt so bad was the fact that he was so damn talented. He broke our hearts.
Its been painful watching him play rugby union. Painful seeing him never get the ball. Painful not seeing that deadly shoulder knock opponents clean out. Now he is back and there is nothing anyone can do.
NRL CEO David Gallop is ready for Williams.
“We would always have preferred he played rugby league once he finishes his current contractual obligations both to rugby and under the terms of his settlement with the Bulldogs” Gallop said.
“We also said before that it would be important to sit down with him and discuss the events of his departure from the Bulldogs to ensure such a situation is never repeated.”
Rugby league is built on superstars. That intangible x-factor that only a rugby league player can bring to the field. It is hard to explain but its there for everyone to see. Williams is a pure modern day rugby league player and no longer can we keep him out.
Forget the past for a minute and consider the future. Consider the money that Williams alone can make for the game. The tickets he will sell for a brand new generation of kids who want to see what all the fuss is about. This is a business after all and Sonny Bill Williams version 2013 is a good business move.
Once people get over the circus that his return will clearly bring, we will see the footy player. The guy who can run at the line holding the steeden in one hand like a tennis ball and flick a pass with three men on his back. The guy who with that unmistakable shoulder can flatten the biggest men in the game.
We need him.
In a crazy upside down world where rugby league superstars are signing to play that weird AFL game from the deep south, we need every warrior we can find. Williams is the next line in our defence.
Rugby league has shot itself in the foot for what seems forever. Its always been one step forward and two steps back. David Gallop remembers the Super League war. He was a lawyer smack bang in the middle of it. Surely if anyone can forgive and forget, it’s the man that was once a lawyer for Super League.
Since that war we have been stubborn and childish in how we treat problems. Now is not the time to be stubborn or childish. We need to realise that even just having Williams back to help combat the other codes is a good thing.
Through all the dollar signs, French rugby clubs and sleazy agents, Sonny Bill Williams is just a guy who wants to play the game he loves. He is a hired gun and although expensive, we need him.
This article was originally posted on footysocial.com.au