As former Rugby League star Sonny Bill Williams considers his future, talk has been rife in League circles that the talented backrower could potentially be playing in the National Rugby League once more, with the Newcastle Knights showing initial interest in luring the Kiwi charger back to Australia.
But the chances of this happening are a million to one.
After his illegal departure from the Bulldogs and the NRL, Sonny Bill Williams was forced to pay $750,000 for breaking his contract or he risked facing lengthy legal battles with his former club and code.
After settling with the Bulldogs, SBW signed off on a clause that restricted him from playing for any other NRL club until the year 2013.
This particular clause will be enforced according to NRL boss David Gallop, who confirmed at least one club approached him this week about the possibility of signing Sonny Bill Williams.
It’s believed the Knights, who are now without the services of forwards Danny Wicks and Chris Houston – approached the NRL about the possibility of bringing Sonny Bill Williams back into the code.
But the surprising thing is, how on earth could the Knights afford the former Bulldogs star?
The Newcastle club say they have around $200,000 to spend on a forward for 2010, and there would be no way on earth SBW would sign for that kind of money. His earning potential in Union would be at least 3 times that figure annually and the question remains whether SBW would want to return to Australia or the NRL after such a messy bust up when he left the fold.
In addition to looking at Sonny Bill, the Knights have spoken about bringing Danny Buderus back into the club for some leadership and direction. But this too smells of panic from the Newcastle camp.
While the money is the first of many hurdles to get SBW interested, the former backrower is far from an attractive prospect. He is regularly injured, would be selected for most New Zealand rep duties and towards the backend of his time at the Dogs, wasn’t setting the world on fire on the park.
Sure, the Knights have had a tough few months after allegations have ripped through the club. But they have some great talent remaining on their roster for 2010 and their junior ranks have always been impressive.
Only 12 months ago, the Knights were complaining that former coach Brian Smith wasn’t using any juniors and was importing talent from elsewhere in the NRL. Well, now is the chance for the Knights to elevate their young stars in the forwards and start building for the future.