Sonny Bill Williams is not welcome in the NRL.
So says the league office following reports that it would block any sort of deal, of any duration, to bring Williams back in 2018.
There was a veritable melee of controversy and what not in the day immediately following the proclamation by former Sydney Roosters player and now radio commentator Jimmy Smith that Williams was “A done deal,” to play for Sydney in 2018.
Both Williams and the Roosters have denied anything of the sort.
Williams immediately replied via social media that he is committed to concentrating on his role with the All Blacks and rugby union, where he currently is the property of the Blues. He did make 45 appearances for the Roosters in 2013 and 2014.
The speculation revolves around the possibility that Williams could come back to the Roosters in August after the conclusion of the 2018 Super Rugby competition.
Phil Rothfield, a senior reporter for News Corp, told NRL 360 that the powers that be in the NRL would not permit such a plan to come to fruition.
“I actually checked that out with the NRL today, I said if he was to come back short-term would it be like Jarryd Hayne, could he do it after June 30?,” Rothfield said.
It would seem that the NRL has one code for Hayne and another for Williams. Hayne was allowed to join the Gold Coast Titans in 2016 despite the June 30 deadline for transfers having come and gone, but the NRL claims that it allowed Hayne back because he was coming from outside the code and not being transferred between clubs.
NRL 360 host Paul Kent is of the opinion that the NRL will make an exception to let Williams back in.
Rules were meant to be broken, our high school teacher was fond of saying, but she was talking about grammar rules, and since we break those quite frequently, we appreciate the language flexibility that proper grammarians and guardians of the language proper would shudder at the mere thought of.
The NRL will probably sway with the breeze, as it did with Hayne, so only time an expert meteorologist will be able to determine which way the wind blows.