Toulon rugby owner 'praises' Ali Williams over drug negotiation

Former All Blacks lock Ali Williams. Photo/Brett Phibbs
Former All Blacks lock Ali Williams. Photo/Brett Phibbs

Controversial Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal has paid mocking tribute to the negotiating skills of former All Black Ali Williams, after his arrest on drug charges last week.

Williams and former Wallaby James O'Connor were both detained by Paris police over the purchase of cocaine - Williams was charged with buying the substance and O'Connor for possession.

Although Williams, 36, is currently contracted to the Paris-based Racing 92 club, Boudjellal has already experienced his haggling powers during a previous two-year stint with Toulon.

"On one side, we have a 36-year-old whose career is over and on the other, a 26-year-old whose career, I hope for him, is not over," Boudjellal told Le Figaro newspaper.

"We have one player who was caught cocaine positive (O'Connor), and one who was negative and who apparently was a good trader.

"But I knew Williams was a good negotiator. It has been confirmed again - at 180 euros for 2.4 grams, he negotiates as well as his contracts."

Joking aside, Boudjellal is now considering O'Connor's future with the Toulon club and warned of a growing cocaine problem among professional rugby players in France, referring to their "third half" or after-match rituals.

"I do not want the third half of the day to be cocaine," he said. "I think all the presidents should be in a state of vigilance with respect to that.

"It does not mean that rugby is like reggae or hard rock, but beware."

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