David Long and Aaron Lawton report on Rugby Heaven that Sonny Bill Williams is still attracting silly money from France.
It is reported that the battle for Sonny Bill Williams has reached boiling point.
Watertight sources have revealed Toulon have ramped up negotiations with his manager, Khoder Nasser, and are believed to be prepared to offer $1.8 million a year.
Nasser refused to comment last night but is understood to be in a strong position to negotiate.
The consortium assembling a bid for a new NRL franchise in Brisbane from 2013 is also chasing Williams as well as Wallabies hot-shot five-eighth Quade Cooper.
Three major sponsors are already committed to the new league team.
The NZRU is desperate to retain the highly marketable Williams after the World Cup but will be unable to match the money Toulon’s Mourad Boudjellal is prepared to spend.
French rugby magazine Midi Olympique ran a profile on the star inside-centre last week and quoted Williams as saying: ”Toulon remains my preferred option [after the World Cup].” That line sent the French media into overdrive but Williams said later that his future was still undecided.
”I think that was taken out of context,” Williams said of the quote in Midi Olympique. ”At this stage I’m loving where I’m at, but what they’ve taken out of context is that I loved my time at Toulon.
”It’s definitely an option to go back there but I didn’t say that.
”I’ve already stated that I’m keeping all of my options open.”
Meanwhile, Williams said he did not have the best of games in the Crusaders’ 34-16 win over the Chiefs in Mt Maunganui on Friday night. ”It was one of those games where I struggled a bit,” he said. ”There was a lot of pressure on me and they rushed up but it opened space for other players.
”Obviously my hands let me down but it was just one of those games and the good thing about rugby is that you get seven days to turn it around.
”The Chiefs started off well and the score didn’t really show the pressure they put on us. But in saying that, it’s good to get five points after playing a game like that.”Tweet