13 Nov 2012

Sonny Bill Williams finally confirms he's returning to rugby league

6:40 pm on 13 November 2012

The former All Black Sonny Bill Williams concedes he didn't want to leave rugby union and is only returning to league because of a hand shake deal he made three years ago.

Williams has confirmed he'll play for the Sydney Roosters in next year's NRL, having promised the club's chairman three years ago that he would.

He says returning to the NRL wasn't his first choice but is promising to take a glass half full approach to his return to the sport he last played five years ago, when he controversially left the Canterbury Bulldogs.

The 27-year-old Williams says he's grown to love rugby union after winning the World Cup with the All Blacks last year and the Super Rugby championship this year with the Chiefs.

He declined to say whether he'd be available for the Kiwis' Rugby League World Cup campaign at the end of next season, saying it could depend on his boxing commitments.