Sonny Bill Williams may still have a role to play at NZ Rugby in the future, says chairman Brent Impey.
Williams has played his final game for the All Blacks and his immediate future looks set to be overseas, with Nine News reporting last night that the cross-code star had accepted a whopping $10 million deal to return to rugby league.
The 34-year-old's reported deal with Canadian UK Super League club Toronto Wolfpack would make him the highest paid player in both rugby union and rugby league.
But Impey said he hoped Williams will return to New Zealand once his playing career comes to en end, even implying that a job will be waiting for him at NZ Rugby.
"If he does take that offer, we wish him all the best, on the surface it obviously looks like a terrific deal," Impey said of Williams' reported code switch.
"We hold him in very high regard and when his playing career finishes, I'm not sure in what role, but I believe he has things to offer us here at New Zealand Rugby, absolutely."
Impey also praised Williams for his contribution to the All Blacks and New Zealand Rugby.
"What he leaves is a real legacy here. Personally, I have a huge amount of time for him."
Impey said that following the Christchurch terrorist attacks in March, Williams was one of the first people he called. He said the Williams, a devout Muslim, offered to head straight down to offer his support.
"He showed real leadership during that time, especially. And then within that All Blacks group he is a real cultural leader as well, and brings a great set of values to the group.
"But really he brings a lot to the table off the field."
Meanwhile, Kiwis star Shaun Johnson was also glowing in his support for Williams when asked about his looming return to rugby league.
Johnson said Williams brings a global profile that would be invaluable to the sport.