Sonny Bill Williams has opened up about his future with the Sydney Roosters and beyond while in isolation ahead of his NRL return.
Speaking on Fox Sport’s Thursday Night With Matty Johns from his quarantine hotel, Williams said moving across the world with his family has been difficult to adjust to at first.
“It’s really good man. It’s pretty tough with four kids under five travelling across the world, trying to deal with jet lag and what not,” he said.
“I think for myself with my mindset, it is one of always being grateful for what I have.
“It’s been a tough few days but I have a great life. The kids are doing alright.”
Williams’ move back to the NRL with his former club the Roosters — who beat the Dragons 24-16 last night — has been a major talking point this season, but the former All Black doesn’t have any expectations over his involvement in the team.
In fact, he made the surprising admission he might not even get a start.
“I think tonight just shows the depth the club has and for me I’m under no illusions,” he said.
“It’s not like I’m coming into a side that came 13th the year before. They’re coming off two back-to-back (premiership) wins.
“It’s a great club and I’m looking to help out wherever I can. The challenge for me as a 35-year old that was on holidays is to try and make the squad, try and make the team.
“That’s my main focus.
“I’ve been training a couple times a day. I think when I get out I have a couple of weeks preparation and then I might not even play.”
The 35-year-old said he had doubts about returning to the Roosters, even after he was first contacted by coach Trent Robinson.
“I was actually on holiday in Spain and the coach rang me and just inquired about what was happening,” he said.
“Even after that conversation I still didn’t believe it would come to fruition. Fast forward a month post that or a few weeks that and clubs pulled out of the competition or couldn’t get our visas.
“I had booked to go on holidays again and was on my way back home and that was when the club made contact with my manager and asked if I had a couple of months.
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Sonny Bill Williams is preparing for his NRL return.Source:Supplied
“When (manager) Khoder (Nasser) asked me I said let me sleep on it. I think for myself like I said before it is about trying to make the squad.
“I actually jumped out of bed that night and did a little bit of stretching and said alright let’s give it a crack.”
Williams admitted he will have to adjust to the quicker pace of the game, which has evolved since he was last in the NRL.
“Just watching that game (between the Roosters and Dragons), it was a class game,” he said. “The quality of it was unreal and it’s definitely advanced in the last five years since I played. That’s a challenge itself.
“The body is starting to feel a bit better. I was lucky to have a little gym set up here.
“I’m coming back to give it the best crack I can.”
Williams says he’s not sure what his future holds after this year, but revealed he has plans to start a charity after he eventually retires from professional sport.
“When you start coming into the twilight of your career you start thinking about that sort of stuff,” he said.
“I’m still contracted to Toronto next year but if that falls through and I end up retiring I’d love to start up my own charity. I’m a big man of faith.
“In the scriptures it says in giving you receive and that’s probably the biggest blessing I’ve found, that it’s true empowerment when you give your time up.”
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