Fallen rugby star Ali Williams and his wife Casey Green are returning to New Zealand with the ex-All Black's wife hoping "good things come from adversity".

Williams' professional rugby career has been left in tatters after he was nabbed trying to buy cocaine in February outside a nightclub on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, where the Rugby World Cup-winner and his family are based.

The former All Black was fined €1500 ($2300) in a Paris court after being convicted of buying the class A drug. Ex-Wallabies star James O'Connor, who was with Williams at the time, was fined for the lesser charge of possession.

Earlier this month the Ligue Nationale de Rugby's discipline and rules commission fined Williams a further €1500 for "behaviour likely to undermine the image and the reputation of rugby". He also lost his job with high-flying club Racing 92.


Speaking exclusively to the Herald on Sunday, Green said the couple had decided it was time to bring their family back to New Zealand. The A-list couple have two young children.

"We're actually coming home to live in a few months' time. A good dose of the European sun, then it's home sweet home," Green said from Paris.

"Good things come from adversity and I'm thrilled to be bringing my family home and to get back into my fitness and nutritional work.

"By the time we land, it would've been four years living abroad. We left on a 9 month contract. It has been an unforgettable adventure as a family, but it's time to come home.

"Ali will still travel to Europe for business but I'm very much looking forward to settling into life back in New Zealand."

Williams was signed to Racing 92 both as a player and an off-field club ambassador.

Several days after being busted with the drug, Williams tweeted: "I made a big mistake and I'm sorry. I feel I've let down our beloved rugby community. I will face the consequences. Thanks 4 all the support."

The Herald on Sunday understands Williams and his wife have had a lot of support from friends in Europe during the off-field drama.

Last week the family took a break in London to catch up with friends.


Shortly after his arrest, Racing 92 president Jacky Lorenzetti told French media that "unfortunately Ali Williams will soon be dismissed".

Racing 92's forwards coach Laurent Travers also said the former test star had committed an "inexcusable error".

"It is quite logical when you do something inexcusable that there is sanction," Travers said.

"There is no need to have a tirade over it. He made a mistake, we are human beings and sometimes we do stupid things."

In the wake of his arrest Williams resigned as a trustee of the iSport Foundation that he co-founded with fellow former All Blacks Richie McCaw and Dan Carter.

The charity gives grants to teenagers struggling to fund their sporting dreams.