By Alan Dymock
SOPHIE’S CHOICE is a heart-wrenching tale, too uncomfortable to consider. Sonny’s Choice, however, is one all of us would be jealous of.
Sonny Bill Williams has missed out on selection for New Zealand’s Rugby League World Cup squad having dithered over his desire to play for the team, saying he probably shouldn’t travel with them due to “other commitments.” Yet he may well have had a change of heart and may seek to travel to England for the spectacle, according to some reports in Australia.
Ignoring the fact that Williams appears to believe he has the luxury of picking and choosing what international coaches in different codes do, he has a chance to select from several attractive suitors over the next few seasons.
Having just won Australia’s League club grand final with the Sydney Roosters he has continued to enjoy great success in his career, but in missing out on the World Cup, rumours have spread behind Williams that he may consider switching codes once again to play Union in 2014.
Fellow code-hopper Benji Marshall has recently signed up to the Auckland Blues and Sonny Bill would allegedly be welcomed back to the Waikato Chiefs with open arms, with the pair then able to set their sights on building towards the 2015 Rugby World Cup with the All Blacks. In a time when Ma’a Nonu is being repeatedly linked with a move to France while no Super 15 franchises want to touch him and with Conrad Smith set to rest for the duration of the All Blacks’ November tour at the end of 2013 there is a glimmer of hope for those wanting to see the League-reared pair feature for New Zealand in 2014 and beyond.
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Those are the choices in front of Sonny Bill: try to play in the League World Cup; ignore that event but stay with the Roosters; head back to New Zealand and start playing Union again. After all, he has never been one to sign long-term deals or enter a contract without a built-in trapdoor.
Whatever way you cut it and whatever you think about him, Sonny Bill Williams must be one of the most envied men in any code of rugby with the most scenic escape routes available to him.