Sonny Bill stars in the halves for Roosters

STEVE JANCETIC
Last updated 13:53 02/07/2013
Sonny Bill Williams
Getty Images
SILKY SKILLS: Sonny Bill Williams puts in a kick against Manly.

Relevant offers

League

Warriors preparing to farewell Nathan Friend as team takes on West Tigers Sydney Roosters win 11th straight, end Manly's NRL finals hopes Souths hooker Issac Luke may have played last game for club after shoulder charge ban NZ Warriors won't block Simon Mannering from going on Kiwis tour to England NRL boss Dave Smith will deliver TV goods says leading digital media expert Auckland sides to battle Canterbury Bulls for national rugby league crown WaiCoa Bay Stallions set high targets for National Premiership NRL veteran Wille Mason confident of playing on next season Savory: No Origin baggage makes Kiwis much better option for NRL clubs Robbie Farah says he was told he will play reserve grade if he stays at Wests Tigers

Having played second five-eighth for the All Blacks, Sonny Bill Williams claims filling in at five-eighth for the Sydney Roosters is a breeze - admitting his stint in rugby union took his playmaking skills to another level.

As he watches on in amazement at Israel Folau's speedy transition to the 15-man game, Williams says he is appreciating the extra room rugby league affords playmakers.

Having made his name in rugby league as a wide-running back-rower capable of freakish offloads, Williams has showcased his playmaking since returning to the game - never more so than in Monday night's win over Manly.

Filling in for the injured James Maloney at pivot - Williams ran the show for the Roosters, with a hand in three of his side's four tries.

"I probably look at it as added pressure," Williams said of playing five-eighth.

"I played second five [in rugby union] - and that's pretty much like a half - against Australia for the All Blacks.

"Those games under pressure when the line's right up, it's probably a little bit tougher.

"When you come through things like that your mental strength improves.

"Not having to do as much ugly stuff out there is probably a bit better as well."

Having walked out on Canterbury midway through 2008, Williams did not play for the All Blacks until November 2010.

He marvels at Folau's rapid ascension through the ranks to play for the Wallabies against the Lions, a stunning rise given he was all but signed, sealed and delivered to NRL club Parramatta before salary cap complications led to his signing with the Waratahs.

"Players like that, you want to watch," Williams said of Folau.

"They're big game players, some of the things he does out there I don't think anyone else can do or just a select few players can.

"I quite enjoy watching him and seeing how he goes.

"It's just amazing how quick he's learnt the game, whether it be at fullback or wing."

Ad Feedback

- AAP

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who is your pick for international league player of the year?

Shaun Johnson

Jesse Bromwich

Sam Burgess

James Graham

Greg Inglis

Johnathan Thurston

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content