SBW Happy to be a Counties Man

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It’s awesome to come back here and be under Tana’s guidance, that’s where it all started, back in Toulon”: Sonny Bill Williams

Sonny Bill Williams believes he is in the best hands to immerse himself back into rugby as he links up with Counties Manukau coach and good friend Tana Umaga.

Williams ripped into a Counties training session at a windy and damp Drury today, and then got some special one-on-one work with Umaga.

The 29-year-old, fresh off two years back in the NRL with the Sydney Roosters where he won a title last season, is set to play for Counties against Auckland at Pukekohe on Wednesday night in a second rugby stint in the New Zealand system. He hopes this will lead to another World Cup success following his 2011 triumph.

Williams believed making the transition to the 15-man game would be much easier this time.

He took his first tentative steps in rugby under Umaga’s guidance at French club Toulon in 2008 before coming to New Zealand in 2010. He also worked a short shift in the Japanese rugby scene before his latest stint of league.

He believed rugby was becoming more instinctive to him.

“Definitely, that’s probably the most pleasing thing, it feels more like second nature,” Williams said as he fronted a large media contingent after a training session that ended with special attention on breakdown work – a major difference between the two codes.


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