Saviour or sellout? The story behind the star who shines across the codes.
When in 2008 Williams turned his back on the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs and rugby league, ‘SBW’ was one of sport’s most maligned brands. His move to French rugby was vilified throughout Australasian sports media. But three years later, many of those same scribes are now singing his praises as one of the All Blacks’ greatest hopes as New Zealand looks ahead to the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
Sonny Bill Williams: The Story of Rugby’s New Superstar tells the story of Williams’s stunning transformation from one of league ‘most hated’ to one of rugby’s ‘most loved’. To do so, John Matheson calls on many of his original interviews with Williams and transcripts of interviews with his teammates and coaches. We get a fascinating insight into Williams’s many struggles: his battles with Sydney’s paparazzi-style media, his personal demons, and his on-field showdowns. It also looks at his personal crusade to make it in the ranks of heavyweight boxing.
Regardless of Williams’s next move – rugby and league administrators are battling for his coveted signature – SBW has already secured his place in history. And after reading Sonny Bill Williams you will be left in no doubt that despite his critics’ best efforts to persuade you otherwise, Sonny Bill Williams is much more about substance than hype.
About the Author
John Matheson − who has penned over 15 books, including bestsellers on Christian Cullen, Tana Umaga, Buck Shelford and Monty Betham − has worked for the Auckland Star and Sunday Star. He is a former editor of the Qantas-award-winning Sunday News, and is the longest-serving editor of NZ Rugby World.