SBW hits back at critics
Dual World Cup winner Sonny Bill Williams has responded on Twitter to those that have been saying that he is under pressure to make the World Cup squad in a few weeks’ time.
The 33-year-old put his rugby career into perspective by saying what real pressure is:
“Look at what’s going on in the world. Starving children, the single mother raising 3 kids, the atrocities refugees are facing around the world, racism. This is what I call pressure.”
Williams also told anyone questioning whether he will make the World Cup to “get your priorities right”, as this is a game that he enjoys.
And for those that say I’m under pressure playing a game that I enjoy. Get your priorities right. Look at what’s going on in the world. Starving children, the single mother raising 3 kids, the atrocities refugees are facing around the world, racism. This is what I call pressure.
— Sonny Bill Williams (@SonnyBWilliams) July 31, 2019
The veteran centre made his return from a hamstring injury last weekend, as he started at inside centre against the Springboks in Wellington. However, he will be playing for Counties Manukau this week in a preseason match against both the Bay of Plenty Wasps and Wellington. He will also play the week after against Taranaki in the Mitre 10 Cup rather than travelling to Perth to take on Australia in the Bledisloe Cup.
While he is still part of the All Blacks squad to potentially take on the Wallabies the week after at Eden Park, this has led some to believe he is under pressure for a World Cup spot.
The former league star has played barely any rugby this season for the Blues due to injury, and with Ngani Laumape, Jack Goodhue and Anton Lienert-Brown already in the squad, and Ryan Crotty set to return from injury, he is part of a fight to avoid being axed.
Steve Hansen has previously said that he will be picked for the World Cup should he prove his fitness in time, and that is clearly the priority as he plays club rugby over the next two weeks.
However, in light of this, he is remaining level-headed and has put things into perspective. While he may be under pressure purely within the rugby sphere, he is aware that there are far greater pressures. Furthermore, given all he has achieved throughout his illustrious career, he will not feel that he needs to prove anything.
The reality of the All Blacks is that many players are always under pressure to retain their place in the squad, and Williams will rise to the challenge as he has in the past.