Sonny Bill Williams has warned league fans not to expect miracles from him tomorrow night as he continues to make the transition back to the 13-man code.
The former All Black will play his second game for the Sydney Roosters against the Warriors at Eden Park tomorrow night.
The hype around him has been at an astronomical level, but he believes he needs to learn to walk again before running and is backing himself to make the transition.
"I am taking my time to get there," Williams said.
"It will take me a few weeks yet to fully feel comfortable. I spent five years out of the game and I'm coming back from injury as well.
"I am just trying to do the basics well and concentrate on my preparation, rather than on what's going on outside of the field."
Everything about Williams becomes a media circus and there has been plenty of discussion on the other side of the Tasman about how he'll go back in league.
But as usual, Williams tries to stay oblivious to it all.
"I've gone on about my business," he said.
"I haven't really done any media, this is the first big media thing I've done since I've come back.
"But everything that I seem to say gets blown out of proportion or something like that.
I just go about my business and that's what I'll be doing this week."
Williams says the biggest issue he needs to work on as a league player again, is making the conversion from being a back.
"I guess it's knowing that I'm a forward now," he said.
"I have got to roll the sleeves up now, whereas before in the backs you're always scanning for opportunities to get the big plays.
"I'll just keep working on it week to week and hopefully improve and I've got confidence in my ability that I will and the Warriors is another step."
Williams says he also needs to adjust to the quicker speed at the contact that there is in league, compared to rugby.
"That goes back to being back in the forwards and that's the biggest thing I have to get used to," he said.
"Before, I was out with the pretty boys, kicking stones out wide.
"It is going to take me a while but it's a long year and I've got confidence in my ability that I'll get there."
Meanwhile, Williams says there isn't much to read in how the Warriors or Roosters went last week when looking to predict a winner tomorrow night.
"You can't really go off too much in the Warriors' performance last weekend and it's the same with us," he said.
"We're both kind of new teams coming together and we're still trying to find our way.
"But from my experience in rugby and league, every team that gets touched up, goes to a different level the week after."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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