SBW decision 'undermines' All Blacks brand

Last updated 08:00 28/08/2014
Sonny Bill Williams
BACK IN BLACK: Sonny Bill Williams has been given an exemption to be picked for the All Blacks' end of year tour.

Sonny Bill Williams fast-track, fair or unfair?

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Sonny Bill Williams fast-track, fair or unfair?

Exemptions undermining the All Blacks jersey Forget Buck, bring back Sonny Bill Williams Life isn't fair, so get over Sonny Bill decision SBW 'loyal to bank account' SBW decision 'undermines' All Blacks brand

Sonny Bill Williams is a gifted athlete and sportsman, absolutely.

But the decision to give him an exemption for All Blacks selection sets a bad precedent when you can just waltz into a team without playing locally.

It opens the door for all our high performing players to live and play most of their rugby or league overseas and just put their hand up to play in New Zealand and for the All Blacks in a World Cup year when the potential rewards are global fame and fortune.

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Of course not every rugby player has the talent of Williams, and anyway, it's not really about him. One can only applaud the professional approach he has taken to managing his career, maximising his brand value and playing the sports he wants to. Good on him

This decision has the potential to seriously undermine our local domestic player base. In the increasingly global game of rugby, New Zealand can not compete with the international salaries that bigger countries with bigger sponsorship can afford.

The attraction of an All Blacks jersey is a key factor that keeps players in New Zealand. What this decision says to all our up and coming and experienced players is go and play your rugby overseas, make the big bucks, and we'll reward you with an All Blacks jersey.

A short-sighted decision.

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