Sonny Bill signs for Chiefs
Sonny Bill Williams (File)
Wellington - Sonny Bill Williams ended weeks of speculation about his future on Monday when he confirmed he will stay in New Zealand for another year and play his Super 15 rugby with the Chiefs.
Details of his contract are confidential but it does allow for the midfield back to continue his professional boxing career, the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) said.
The rugby league convert had given a series of mixed signals about his future earlier in the year as rugby union and rugby league clubs around the globe chased his signature.
"We’re delighted that Sonny has chosen to continue playing his rugby in New Zealand next year," NZRU general manager professional rugby Neil Sorensen said on Monday.
"He’s a special player who creates some real excitement and interest in the game with his style of rugby. We’re looking forward to seeing him create some more excitement in a Chiefs, as well as an All Blacks, jersey next year."
After indicating earlier in the year he would stay in New Zealand, Williams later said he was "entitled to change his mind" and would not made a decision on his future until after the World Cup.
He also hinted if he stayed in New Zealand he could leave the Crusaders and follow All Blacks assistant coach Wayne Smith who has taken up a contract with the Chiefs.
The 26-year-old Williams walked away from a world-record $5 million offer from the French club Toulon to move home to New Zealand last year on a short-term contract, in the hope of making the All Blacks World Cup side.
But while he made the championship-winning squad, he was reported to be unhappy at having to play second fiddle to rival Ma'a Nonu and played only a brief cameo towards the end of the 8-7 win over France in the final.
Williams was the only member of the New Zealand World Cup squad who did not confirm his intentions for 2012 before the tournament, and he was the only player not to take part in the victory parades around the country.