Sonny Bill's Olympic dreams of Rio

STEVE KILGALLON
Last updated 05:00 03/02/2013

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Code-hopping Sonny Bill Williams has Olympic aspirations - he wants to win a medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games playing rugby sevens.

In heartening news for rugby fans, it is understood that Williams plans to return to the 15-man game by 2015 to try to reclaim his ABs jersey in time for that year's world cup in England.

But Williams' aspirations as a pro boxer may lead him to quit all rugby after the 2016 Olympics.

Williams, who has a fight against South African Francois Botha on February 9 for the WBA International heavyweight title, will play rugby league with the Sydney Roosters for this season but has made no commitments beyond that but the Sunday Star-Times has learned he has a tentative road map for the remainder of an unusual career that has taken him from league to rugby and back to league while also taking on professional boxing.

Williams would like to play, if selected, for the Kiwis at this year's league world cup, and is open-minded about playing league or rugby in 2014. He will return to rugby before 2015 to fight for his ABs jersey ahead of the world cup in England. The following year he would spend on boxing and rugby sevens, with an eye to the Rio Olympics, before boxing fulltime.

Williams and his manager Khoder Nasser wouldn't talk directly on their long-term plans, with Williams saying he didn't want to look too far ahead.

But Williams did say he was motivated by challenges. "When I am finished, I just want to say I have tried lots of things, and I've done as well as I can."

It's thought the Williams' camp sees the treble of winning a league world cup, being in the first All Blacks team to win a rugby world cup offshore and then succeeding at the Olympics in sevens is the biggest sporting challenge he could take on.

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- Sunday Star Times

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