SBW? 'I wouldn't say I was obsessed'

21:35, Dec 21 2013
Ariana O'Connor, Sonny Bill Williams
FAN LOVE: 'It's not like Dave Rennie picks him for his looks.'

Santa has already outdone himself this year for thousands of Chiefs fans.

He stopped in at Hamilton a few days early and dropped off the gift they had been hoping for: Sonny Bill Williams.

As news of the sporting superstar's return to the Chiefs in 2014 spread across the Waikato, Ariana O'Connor, of Hamilton, was prompted to reminisce about the 2011 World Cup.

"I wouldn't say I was obsessed. But I was a pretty big fan."

She's been watching the comments pop up on news stories about the star's return and is pretty disappointed by most of them.

"I don't know why so many people are so negative about him. He's a really talented sportsperson and it's not like the Chiefs coach picks him for his looks or because he's a celebrity now. He picks him for his skills," she said.


The now 20-year-old has met the superstar three times. Once at a signing, once outside the Novotel when the All Blacks played in Hamilton, and she got the best 18th birthday present when she ran into him while out celebrating with her friends. She did miss out once when he visited the restaurant where she works.

"He came in for green tea and I wasn't there. I was quite upset."

That was 2011 and Miss O'Connor remembers the Rugby World Cup fondly. She had an All Blacks jersey emblazoned with the initials S.B.W.

To her, it stood for "Sonny Bill's Wahine".

Underneath the text is the superstar's autograph - she staked out a Rebel Sport signing and ducked through hordes of screaming girls. SBW thought it was a bit of a laugh.

"He just chuckled. There were three others there and they were like: Where's my jersey?"

She still wears that jersey, despite constant approaches to sell it. But fandom is one thing, romance is another. She already has a Sonny in her life. "Well, he went to Aussie so I just went and found another rugby player called Sonny."

And although she still sings the praises of the superstar, there's no way she's ditching her man for him.