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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sonny Bill Williams debut for Toulon defies court order

Sonny Bill Williams debut for Toulon defies court order

We recently reported on the sensational move of NRL star Sonny Bill Williams to Toulon in France. A whole lot has happened off the field, culminating in a NSW Court order from the NRL to stop him from playing. Despite that, Williams made his debut for the newly promoted Top 14 team yesterday, playing well, but earning a yellow card in the process.

Williams displayed the star factor thats been associated with his career since he was a teenager. Thousands turned out to watch him strut his stuff in the pre-season friendly against Carqueiranne-Hyeres.

It was a mixed day for the New Zealander, as his team won easily 50-5, but he himself received a yellow card for a shoulder charge that is most definitely not part of the Union code.
His victim afterwards described the hit as it being like an electrocution.

Williams will adjust to the laws quickly though, and with the glimpses of brilliance he showed while playing on the wing - one handed offloads and basketball like skills - he is sure to be a superstar in France.

Off the field though he faces his biggest challenge, as walking out on his contract with the Bulldogs two weeks ago has put him in the spotlight, with the NRL lawyers and top dogs out to make things right, which could actually mean he'll face jail time if he continues to play in defiance of the NSW Supreme Court injunction.

NRL boss David Gallop said they have "no choice" but to continue the legal pursuit of the Bulldog, warning that if he plays again, when Toulon meet Toulouse for a friendly on Friday night, they will be forced to take things further.

Williams is not only flirting with a jail term for contempt of court, but he risks losing his Australian assets, including his $1.3 million Caringbah home.

"It's one thing not to comply with an obligation you have in a contract, it's another thing altogether to defy an order of the court," NRL lawyer Tony O'Reilly stated.

To avoid being personally served with the injunction before kick-off, Williams travelled to the game by car, rather than the team bus. He also didnt warm up with the team, but received a huge ovation from the crowd, despite it being an away match.

Speaking to a Sydney newspaper he said he's prepared to go to jail for what he believes in.

"What I've done, it's shown it's just not about me, it's about the boys getting a fair go, you know what I mean?" he said. "It's about them having the balls to stand up for themselves, and get what they should be getting.

"I just want to see the game and the players looked after the way they should be because the crowds don't turn up to watch David Gallop play... they turn up to watch the players play.

"Hopefully some good can come out of what I've done and it wakes everybody up and they realise that something needs to be done."


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Sonny Bill Williams leaves the Bulldogs & League, goes to Toulon
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Time: 01:57

Posted at 5:29 pm | 21 comments

Viewing 21 comments

Anonymous August 10, 2008 6:40 pm

holy jesus hes a beast

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Hendrick August 10, 2008 6:49 pm

Hey I'm American I don't quite understand what he meant when he said he just want the sport to be fair. Is league not as good. I know in union you get paid more, but I don't understand why he just doesn't wait fore his contract to end? Than play for who ever he wants.

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El nino August 10, 2008 8:03 pm

lol i like how hes already been sent off 4 a shoulder charge haha - he is awesome tho but he shud find another position rather than the wing maybinside cenetr or a flanker

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Benot August 10, 2008 8:03 pm

parce que toulon!!!

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Anonymous August 10, 2008 8:43 pm

sonny bill is not a flanker. he does not belong in a ruck or in a scrum he belongs at inside centre, where he has the handling skills and distribution to put people through holes and if that fails he can make a hole himself. i reckon the 'shoulder charge' should be made legal again. its not nearly as dangerous as a high tackle with a swinging arm, or a spear tackle. i dont think there have been any serious injuries from hits like that.in answer to hendrick's comment, sbw had 4 years left on his contract and left for several reasons; including he wants to work with umaga and be an all black, he wants more money, but namely he didnt like it at the bulldogs. so if you are a young star that gets offered more money to play in a lovely country, you dont like it where you are, and you clearly have the potential to be an allblack there i think its pretty obvious you would leave too.sbw is a legend

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boomshanka August 10, 2008 10:15 pm

didn't he get served the court order after this game? ...so he was actually playing legit - the next game he plays will be in defiance

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bD August 10, 2008 10:56 pm

i fear this isnt the first well hear of him.......btw whats with the music in the background during the report? lol

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el nino August 10, 2008 11:34 pm

yeh agree inside center !SBW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Anonymous August 11, 2008 12:09 pm

lol SBW hit a player of third france division rugby union and in the last season this club was in fouth division.But this season (if he plays) in the Top 14 i think, he could probably the monster of the season!!

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Brawny August 11, 2008 1:14 pm

SBW at inside centre? So do you guys think he would get picked ahead of Luke McAllister (when he's back in NZ) and Ma Nonu for AB's? I reckon wing is a good position - if he has a high work rate he would get his hands on the ball alot (like Shane Williams for example) and a back 3 of Rockokoko, SBW and Muliaina would be frightening!

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Cheyanqu August 11, 2008 1:15 pm

Has the NRL contracted with the Hopping Mad Collection Agency to get their money back.

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Anonymous August 11, 2008 3:20 pm

this numpty can't tackle.

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Rancid August 11, 2008 4:53 pm

I actually agree with anonymous too. On his point about shoulder charges.I truelly don't understand the no arms rule. Granted, i'd be fully understanding if it was putting peoples health in a serious danger, but it doesn't.The injuries in comparison from League and Union tackles aren't much. Yet League fly in with no shoulders all the time.There is no need for the arms in the tackle rule. Aslong as it's below shoulder height it's perfectly safe.Obviously there is some sort of hidden principal that i'm not aware of, or don't understand, regarding the arms rule in Union.,,,,,,,,,As for SBW, i heard he did good... One of the most over rated League players of all time though, still.Now. Inglis, Folau and Slater are players i'd love to see make the transition.Folau i have a gut feeling possibly will try to in a few years, watch this spot.

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Anonymous August 11, 2008 5:01 pm

i think the court order is really immature sourness.hes not playing for the nrl again so they might as well get over it!!!!

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caucau's no.1 fan August 11, 2008 5:57 pm

agree with the comment above, they havent particularly lost anything from it as they wont have paid the contract up front, and players leave clubs half way through contracts and sign for other clubs. the reason they are being stubborn is because its aussie league, and they probably hate the exchange to union. fair enough he side a contract, but thats not iron clad. matthew tait signed a contract for newcastle last season, then ended up at sale a few months later. its only because the bulldogs are being greedy and wanted another, preferably league club to pay for him.

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Dave August 11, 2008 6:05 pm

This dude is the shit, He walks out on his contract, is threatned to spend time in bars and eventually they can't do shit about it, SBW you are my Hero!!!!!

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Anonymous August 11, 2008 10:57 pm

Needs to learn to hit using his arms but I think he's a good fit at wing. That or outside. And the Song is Can't be Touched by Roy Jones Jr.

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westdog54 August 12, 2008 2:17 am

If he wanted more money to go and play overseas, why sign a 5 year deal? Why make a commitment to a club for that long and then walk out so soon, why not take the money overseas earlier.SBW has burned his bridges in Australia. If there had been some motivator other than money, then fair enough.He's a greedy dog.

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granite August 12, 2008 11:06 am

To Caucau's no.1 fan,Most people that leave contracts half way through have a clause that allows them to leave under certain circumstances (as I understand it, in australia anyway).To Boomshanka,Representatives from the NRL have been trying to serve the court order to "Money" Bill Williams for ages now, but he's been in hiding or has been given special cars to and from practice/training (no team bus for our superstar!).I'm miffed about SBW leaving for a few reasons:1. He signed a contract, one where there is no clause for him to walk out on.2. He was VERY secretive about it all; none of his team mates knew until he was on the plane.3. Toulon's attitude is appauling to all this; quote from their management: "Our question is, does he have a contract with another rugby league club? No, so we have no problem with him playing". I was gobsmacked when I heard that...

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NRL who? August 12, 2008 4:02 pm

a greedy dog? he won't be getting anywhere near what he was getting at the bulldogs. If he gets the AUS$1.5m per season for 2 years that the papers are making up - thats more than Dan Carter - VERY unlikely. There hasn't been any public statement on his union salary - only speculation. People who dont know the FACTS ned to zip it.And those who say "but he walked out on a contract - why did he sign in the first place?" how is this any different to say a divorce? it happens everyday - broken marriage contracts left right and centre - people's situations change, people become unhappy and want change.Cowards are those that sit in the same shitty jobs complain everyday and do nothing about it!SBW - respect!

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Anonymous August 20, 2008 1:20 pm

SBW could be the next huge star!! yes im a KIWI and proudly support the ALL BLACK, which is known as a brand now not just a rugby team! Look what happend to JONAH when hit the scene, now im not comparing SBW to JONAH(he was 1 of a kind) but what SBW cpuld bring to the game is the new era..... What a perfect place to be under the wing of TANA UMAGA(centre) and standing beside him is his litle pit bul JERRY COLLINS someone who was known for his massive hard hitting tackles, OH MY GOD!!!!!! someone to teach SBW to control his shoulder(everybody click together) it almost look like TED HENRY(all black coach) had this planned out!!now were would he play outside MAA NONU of course, GLORY FOR THE ALL BLACKS!!! BRING ON 2011

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