Sonny Bill Williams will stick with rugby league and the Roosters next year after informing the NZRU and Chiefs he won't be returning to rugby in 2014.
The 28-year-old met with NZRU general manager professional rugby Neil Sorensen and Chiefs coaches Dave Rennie and Wayne Smith in Sydney yesterday, when it was assumed he was finalising a deal to return to the Chiefs and New Zealand rugby. The NZRU put out a statement, however, to say Williams wouldn't be returning to rugby in New Zealand next year.
While disappointed not to have secured the World Cup winner for 2014, Sorensen said it was no secret Williams had options for his playing career next year.
"We obviously worked pretty hard to bring Sonny home, and we have had some really good conversations with him,'' Sorensen said. ``This is disappointing but we know we put our best foot forward and, in the end, Sonny has made his decision.
"As we do with many players who leave New Zealand, we will continue to keep the lines of communication open with him about his playing career.''
The Roosters said in a statement today that Williams had pledged his commitment to the club for 2014 and it expected him to sign a new deal in mid-February on the same terms and conditions as his 2013 contract.
Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie said: "While we are disappointed that Sonny won't be with us in 2014 now, we'll be keen to keep talking to him about future options.''
The NZRU understood Williams had informed the Roosters he will return to them for the 2014 season.
Firstly, he will help the Kiwis at the rugby league World Cup. He was a controversial late inclusion after originally indicating he would be unavailable for the tournament.