We'd love him to do badly, we really would. The boxing, code-jumping and no-look passes. Sonny Bill Williams treats rugby like a mistress that will never dare ask for commitment. The only consolation is he treats boxing with even more contempt, twice being stripped of titles due to inactivity. Vacant titles that were served up to him on a plate.
Rugby at least expected Williams to earn his Super Rugby title that he won with the Chiefs in 2012. Boxing was so desperate for attention they wheeled an overweight Francois "White Buffalo" Botha out of retirement to entice the All Black centre. SBW's eyes must have lit up when he saw the overweight South African trudge into the ring. Williams triumphed but another round, even 10 seconds would have seen his farcical rugby roadshow come to a timely end.
Good rugby players marvel at and despise him. Players that grow up on rugby and focus on the game as their sole calling don't get close to being as sublime as Sonny Bill Williams. The mistress is delighted to have him back after a two year hiatus. Playing for the Chiefs against the Blues over the weekend, his star quality was irresistible. Three clean breaks, three offloads, and 10 carries for a 49-yard game. It was as if the All-black centre had never left.
SBW is playing the game. He's back because it's a world cup year. Would you begrudge him a second World Cup title to add to his NRL Championship, ITM Cup, Super Rugby Championship and WBA heavyweight title?