The Waratahs have emerged as contenders for Williams, who could become the face of rugby in Sydney.
While the New Zealand Rugby Union has received a verbal agreement from Williams and his management to stay in New Zealand, NZRU boss Steve Tew confirmed that Sonny Bill has yet to put pen to paper.
“No we haven’t [signed him] but Sonny Bill has been very kind in public saying he intends to stay in New Zealand. Until he decides where he is going to play his footy we won’t get pen to paper and I have been saying that whenever anyone talks to me about Sonny Bill,” Tew told Radio Sport.
The Waratahs reportedly approached Williams’ management about a deal last month.
At that time they were told he was tied up for next year. However, that no longer appears the case and Williams remains without a New Zealand Super Rugby team, despite speculation he would sign with Auckland side the Blues.
Williams’ current coach, Crusaders boss Todd Blackadder, has confirmed ‘SBW’ is leaving his franchise. The question is to where.
”We have still got a spot or two in our squad,” Waratahs chief executive Jason Allen told the Herald.
”If the question is would we ever want him in our squad if we could fulfil any financial demands – of course, without a doubt.
We would be thrilled, he would be a real asset here. I think we have a pretty strong program to support him.”
Another potential move would be to the Queensland Reds, with Williams interested in playing alongside close friend Quade Cooper. The two share the same player agent, Khoder Nasser.
Nasser’s only comment to the Herald was aimed at dousing speculation: “We have given the NZRU an agreement that Sonny will be there next year.”
Time will tell whether that turns out to be the case.