In a three-part interview on the NRL Footy Show this past few weeks, Sonny Bill Williams has spoken candidly with Phil Gould and shown a side to himself not yet seen in public. The usually shy SBW spoke extremely well and highlighted his desire to move ‘out of his comfort zone’ and become more vocal on Rugby League issues; willing to spend more time in the media and in front of the cameras.
The major bombshell dropped in the interview related to Willie Mason. When asked about his relationship with former team-mates Mason, Braith Anasta, Roy Asotasi, Mark O’Meley, Nate Myles and Brent Sherwin – who all left the Bulldogs in recent years. SBW singled out Mason and voiced his disappointment at big Willie’s departure, “I’ve lost some respect for Mase.” SBW said. Williams angry that Mason had previously convinced him to stay at the Bulldogs and to disregard the offers of up to double the salary elsewhere and remain ‘loyal’. In the end it was all for nothing, SBW watching on – as Mason packed his bags for the Roosters. It sets the scene for an explosive clash between the Bulldogs and Roosters in the weeks ahead.
Sonny Bill also touched on the recent Bulldogs management turmoil and how it affects the players. SBW explained how the headlines and uncertainty makes things uneasy even at playing level; “Some players can disregard all that, but for me I like to know the club is performing well at all levels” Williams said. SBW did point out that he felt the club was now united and certainly heading in the right direction, something Bulldogs fans will be happy to hear.
Discussed in depth was the Polynesian influence on the NRL and Rugby League in the current era. Sonny Bill Williams is the child of a Polynesian Father and White European Mother and SBW feels that the Polynesian group of players is at times being exploited – being signed to cheaper deals and not having a voice, their personality being a humble, quiet one and making them easy pushovers by club management. It’s this particular issue that has prompted Sonny to come out of his shell and move more into the media spotlight, giving himself and fellow Polynesians a greater voice in the community. Coming out of this topic, was the fact that Sonny Bill Williams and other Polynesians are unable to represent at State of Origin level. While representing NSW and Queensland at under 19’s – the jump to first grade and subsequent Kiwi representation at international level, means no Origin honours for the likes of SBW and co.
View the interviews below, in three parts – simply click the play icon on each video to view. (Email readers, you may need to visit the NRLNews.com site to view these videos)
Phil Gould and SBW Interview – Part 2 of 3
Phil Gould and SBW Interview – Part 3 of 3