Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Star bids for World Cups in two sports






Rugby union, league’s Sonny Bill Williams’ bid for World Cups in two sports




By Tim Hume, CNN


October 8, 2013 — Updated 0933 GMT (1733 HKT)





New Zealander Sonny Bill Williams is a star in rugby union and rugby league, and perhaps the most talked about athlete in Australia and his homeland.


New Zealander Sonny Bill Williams is a star in rugby union and rugby league, and perhaps the most talked about athlete in Australia and his homeland.






STORY HIGHLIGHTS



  • New Zealand’s Sonny Bill Williams is a star in rugby union and rugby league

  • Speculation has been heated as to whether he will play for his country in the rugby league World Cup

  • His manager says he will chase the dream of winning World Cups in both rugby codes

  • He won the rugby union World Cup with New Zealand’s All Blacks in 2011








Hong Kong (CNN) — Sonny Bill Williams, the code-hopping rugby player who is perhaps the most talked-about athlete in Australasian sport, will make himself available to the New Zealand rugby league team in an attempt to win World Cups in two sports, says his manager.


Williams’ manager, Khoder Nasser, told CNN of his client’s decision Tuesday, hours after New Zealand selectors named a squad without the 28-year-old star to contest the Rugby League World Cup, which will be held in England and Wales in October and November.


Speculation about whether Williams would play in the World Cup has been a hot topic in rugby union and league since he helped propel his Sydney Roosters club to victory in Australia’s National Rugby League grand final Sunday, amid talk it would be his last game in the sport.


Williams has been tipped to return to the 15-a-side game of rugby union in 2014 to play for New Zealand’s All Blacks, with whom he won the sport’s World Cup in 2011.





He’s in a position where he could win two World Cups and doesn’t want to regret anything.

Khoder Nasser, Sonny Bill Williams’ manager





Williams was initially not named in the New Zealand rugby league World Cup squad, having told selectors he was unavailable, but Nasser told CNN that the lure of lifting a World Cup in another sport had prompted a change of heart.


“He’s in a position where he could win two World Cups in two different sports,” said Nasser. “He doesn’t want to regret anything. He’s a softie. (It’s) a hard sport, but he’s a softie.”


As for the timing of the decision, coming after the 24-man squad had been named? “We’re very spontaneous,” he said.


Since controversially leaving the 13-man game of rugby league for rugby union in 2008, walking out on his club mid-season, Williams has proved himself one of world sport’s most versatile athletes — and one of the most talked about public figures in Australia and New Zealand.


After a stint learning the game of rugby union in France, he returned to New Zealand with the stated ambition of making the All Blacks and winning the World Cup. He did so in 2011, winning the Super Rugby international club championship with New Zealand-based franchise the Chiefs the following year. He then declared he wanted to return to the Australian rugby league competition where he had initially made his name.


Williams has also expanded his repertoire to boxing, winning six heavily publicized bouts to become New Zealand’s reigning heavyweight champion.


Now that he has achieved his goal of winning Australian club rugby league’s top prize — for the second time, having been part of a victorious Bulldogs team in his debut season — questions are being asked as to whether he will return to the All Blacks next year or remain in rugby league.


Nasser would only say to expect to see him at the rugby league World Cup — where he is expected to be one of the tournament’s main drawcards — and that another professional boxing bout was planned for the off-season.


The New Zealand Rugby League did not respond to a request for comment. New Zealand is the reigning rugby league world champion.













ADVERTISEMENT






Part of complete coverage on








August 9, 2013 — Updated 0920 GMT (1720 HKT)



The Olympics must use its global reach and immense popularity to help save a generation, says sporting icon Sergei Bubka.









August 7, 2013 — Updated 1632 GMT (0032 HKT)



CNN’s Fred Pleitgen exposes a history of German government-funded doping throughout the Cold War.









April 9, 2013 — Updated 1628 GMT (0028 HKT)



A six-day run that covers more than 220 km through the scorching heat of the Sahara desert has been billed as the “World’s toughest race.”









April 10, 2013 — Updated 1149 GMT (1949 HKT)



He plays the only sport approved by the Taliban, a game he learned as a war refugee in Pakistan.









April 4, 2013 — Updated 1746 GMT (0146 HKT)



How do you like your sport? Blood, sweat, tears and a nailbiting finish, no doubt. But what about death?









April 5, 2013 — Updated 0934 GMT (1734 HKT)



Disgraced doper Lance Armstrong’s quest to take part in a swimming event in Texas appears to have been sunk before he’s even hit the water.









December 18, 2012 — Updated 1121 GMT (1921 HKT)



New research suggests the use of ice baths to aid recovery after intense exercise is not as beneficial as previously thought.









December 19, 2012 — Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)



It’s not easy carrying the burden of a sports-mad nation’s lofty expectations of world-beating dominance on your shoulders.









December 6, 2012 — Updated 1645 GMT (0045 HKT)



Forty days alone in the wilderness was enough for Jesus, but Lance Armstrong is facing an altogether longer period of solitude.









November 28, 2012 — Updated 2142 GMT (0542 HKT)



The flip side to this health time bomb is the paradox that more and more amateur athletes are taking on extreme endurance challenges.









November 28, 2012 — Updated 1937 GMT (0337 HKT)



All Black fly-half Dan Carter talks to CNN’s Sophia Heath as New Zealand prepares to take on England at Twickenham.









November 29, 2012 — Updated 1833 GMT (0233 HKT)



New Zealand’s Dan Carter reveals the five fly-halfs that inspired him.









November 24, 2012 — Updated 1636 GMT (0036 HKT)



Boxing legend Hector “Macho” Camacho has died. CNN’s Nick Valencia looks back on his life.









July 31, 2012 — Updated 1852 GMT (0252 HKT)



You may not be headed to the Olympics, but that doesn’t mean you can’t join in the fun! Welcome to the CNN iReport sports photo master class.









July 25, 2012 — Updated 1203 GMT (2003 HKT)



Look over the edge as cliff divers compete in the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2012 in Portugal.









July 19, 2012 — Updated 2229 GMT (0629 HKT)



The Houston Rockets sign basketball sensation Jeremy Lin after the New York Knicks fail to match their NBA rivals’ three-year, $25 million offer.









May 31, 2012 — Updated 1117 GMT (1917 HKT)



Reza Beluchi has been running all his life, running for freedom, running for peace. He ran away from his homeland, Iran, and has traveled the world.










ADVERTISEMENT






Source:


Star bids for World Cups in two sports


The post Star bids for World Cups in two sports appeared first on Arne Ruhnau News.






via Arne Ruhnau News http://arneruhnau.com/star-bids-for-world-cups-in-two-sports/