Sonny Bill has a new bromance
His flirtations in Rugby League and the boxing ring seem to suggest he isn’t one for long-time commitment. In the All Black midfield Sonny Bill Williams has had many partners since Ma’a Nonu first stood shoulder to shoulder with him at Twickenham in 2010.
Eight years on and with a chiselled grin Williams was only too happy to chat about his latest bromance.
He will have Jack Goodhue as midfield companion when the All Blacks play the Springboks at Loftus on Saturday and Williams wasted little time in explaining why he’s warmed to the young Crusader.
“Besides his looks‚ he’s a just cool‚ calm‚ collected player‚” said Williams while gazing at Goodhue seated to his left.
“He does the simple things really well. He’s very strong defensively but he’s also got a bit of flair in him in attack. I’m looking forward to suiting up next to him again.”
The first time they played together was for Goodhue’s debut against France in Dunedin earlier this year. They reunite with Goodhue increasingly finding his voice on the international stage.
“Sonny is an intimidating guy‚ but I feel I’ve come a long way in the chat perspective‚” said Goodhue.
“Sonny has taken me under his wing. I appreciate all the help. Hopefully we can continue this relationship.”
Williams then interjected: “Uh‚ tell them about the book you just finished‚ the one with the best pickup lines.”
“The one that you gave me‚” Goodhue retorted.
Williams went on to explain that midfielders naturally gravitate towards each other.
“I guess then the relationship forms organically. Hence the reason you see him [Goodhue] coming in because he feels safe and comfortable to express himself. I guess this week will be no different‚” said Williams.
They are bracing themselves for a confrontational duel with Damian de Allende‚ who is back in the Bok team‚ and Jesse Kriel. Although the Kiwis ran in six tries in Wellington‚ the South African rush defence caused them some headaches.
Does that open opportunity for Williams’s trademark one-handed off loads?
“Hopefully‚” he said‚ still grinning. “In international rugby there has been a shift with defence coming up a lot quicker.
“This week is no different to playing European teams. Us in the midfield have our work cut out for us‚” he said while turning to Goodhue.
Goodhue is only too happy to feed off those pieces.
“He’s back and I’m looking forward to that combination again. If they bring that line speed I’ll be looking for that offload and hopefully catch a few‚” said Goodhue.
Williams’s love for South Africa has been a constant. He speaks passionately about spending time here.
“This is almost like a second home. I share the same faith with a lot of people over here‚ my wife is South African. I take a lot of pride coming over trying to play well‚ but also spending some quality time with some good people.”