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Sonny Bill Williams could join the Waratahs

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Article Published: Tuesday 9 August 2011

The Waratahs have emerged as possible shock contenders in the race to sign Crusaders and All Black star Sonny Bill Williams for the 2012 Super Rugby season.

Sources in New Zealand have stated that Sonny Bill has signed with the New Zealand Rugby Union but sources in Australia say that he has only given them a verbal guarantee.

The Waratahs approached Williams last month to discuss him joining them and were told that he had already been tied up for the year.

However as Williams has not signed with a Super Rugby squad yet matters seem to have changed dramatically.

"We have still got a spot or two in our squad," Waratahs chief executive Jason Allen told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"If the question is would we ever want him in our squad if we could fulfil any financial demands - of course, without a doubt. "

"We would be thrilled, he would be a real asset here. I think we have a pretty strong program to support him."

In a further twist the Herald reports that if Super Rugby champions the Reds contact him he would seriously consider joining them due to his desire to play alongside his good friend Quade Cooper.

When Williams agreed to remain in New Zealand four weeks ago he said, "I'm committed to staying here for another year."

"It's due to the fact that the amount of support that I've got back in New Zealand has been pretty humbling. At this stage it's just one more year but things could change."

Williams has already told the Crusaders and his team-mates that he will not be staying on with the Crusaders in 2012 and his lack of game time for the All Blacks is said to be giving him second thoughts about staying in New Zealand.

Sonny Bill Williams shone in the Super Rugby series and led all players for offloads, was second to Cooper for linebreak assists, and was 13th overall for run metres. No other centre came close to Williams's offload and linebreak assist figures.

Even though his Super Rugby stats are outstanding All Black coach Graham Henry has stuck with Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith as his centre pairing.

If Williams does decide to stay in New Zealand the Blues are said to be leading the race for his signature as his mother lives in Auckland.

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