Chris Rattue is a sports columnist for the New Zealand Herald.

Chris Rattue: Why Sonny Bill Williams has made the right call

Sonny Bill Williams has made the only fair and sensible decision, rejecting the Chiefs and joining the Blues.

The emergence of Charlie Ngatai at the Chiefs as a classy and long term test prospect at No. 12 mean it was unthinkable for SBW to return to there, no matter the loyalty factor.

Teams will claim that team mates are in awe of SBW, love the man's bones, that he spreads sunshine wherever he goes. Nonsense. Ngatai would have been gutted had our sport's keenest traveller popped back to Hamilton, and stolen his place.

The Chiefs owe their rising All Black midfielders Ngatai and Seta Tamanivalu maximum game time, the chance to reach for the stars.

No one is ever guaranteed a place, but by the same token those sorts of players should not have their careers impeded by a man who basically comes and goes as he pleases, and still may do to a degree via a boxing clause.

There is good work to be done by SBW in Auckland, where the Blues are an embarrassment compared to the region's glorious past.

His great strength is an ability to bring others into play, and his sort of creativity is sorely missing in this Blues lineup of power runners.


There are risks. The franchise still doesn't have its act together although there are promising signs of a growing team spirit. But SBW needs to be a leader and he already has a good relationship, I believe, with coach Tana Umaga.

And he is finally coming home. Auckland, after all, is where it all began for a controversial and divisive but absolutely brilliant footballer. Hopefully, he still has plenty left in the petrol tank. I, for one, can't wait to see what he brings to the Blues.

- NZ Herald

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Chris Rattue is a sports columnist for the New Zealand Herald.

Chris Rattue writes about a wide range of sports for the New Zealand Herald. He has covered numerous sporting events for the Herald including Rugby World Cups and the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

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