Sonny Bill Williams

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Williams during the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Sonny William 'Sonny Bill' Williams (born 3 August 1985) is a New Zealand rugby player and heavyweight boxer who has played both rugby league and rugby union.


On multi-sport career
  • I feel that if I am busting my arse, if I am stretching at night, if I am working hard in the gym, if I am doing all of my extras out on the field, if I am the first one there and the last to leave or whatever, and if I am giving my all every game, then I deserve to be the man I want to be rather than the man other people want me to be.
    • Williams on the controversial nature of his flitting between football codes. Sonny Bill Williams regrets nothing, by Brad Walter, Sydney Morning Herald, dated 29 November 2013.
On boxing
  • Every sport has helped me excel in another. Boxing has given me the mental strength to know that I can face anything on the field, without a doubt.
On ethnic identity
  • I am the first to jump up and say that I am a proud Samoan.
    • Williams on his paternal heritage. Samoa’s living legend, by Sophie Budvietas, Samoa Observer, dated 24 August 2014.
On religious faith
  • I feel like I am on the right path now. It has helped me with my confidence on the sporting field and with my self-belief, but outside of sport my life is a lot smoother too. Like everyone, I have my faults and I veer off the path sometimes, but my faith helps me get back on it and to stay being a good person. I am a lot happier now in my own skin.
On birth of first child
  • [Her birth] was the best moment of my life, by far, and it didn't do it justice watching it on Skype...When I saw my child for the first time it just switched the switch, you know. That's when you realise you love something more than you love yourself.
On aspirations
  • If you don't have massive dreams, you might as well stay in bed.
On legacy
  • In 20 years time, I want to say 'didn't I have a go when I was in my prime', and I went back to play rugby league, tried to make the Rugby World Cup, tried to make the Olympics or tried to win the World Cup with the Kiwis.
On media
  • I try not to read too much in the media because they're either gonna put you on a pedestal too high or underplay you.

Quotes about Williams


Rugby league

  • What’s the Sonny Bill Effect? Without doubt, he’s been a giant of the club. There’s the athletic ability and the consummate professionalism. He works as hard on his preparation as any player I’ve ever seen. Of course he’s a natural, but there’s a lot of hard work that goes into making it so natural. He’s the modern-day sportsman. He’s helped turn us into a modern-day club. There’s no drinking, there’s no smoking, there’s none of the partying habits that can drag rugby league down. The influence of Sonny Bill? We’re talking about an icon of our sport and this club.

Rugby union

  • He changed the game around with the offload and the way a No.12 plays. He's strong, and he's quick for his size as well, with pretty good skills for a big guy. He did really well when he played the game.
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