For anyone worried that Sonny Bill’s omission from the Foundation Cup team means he is under an injury cloud, fear not: according to The Australian, SBW’s first contact drill in the training gear of the Tricolours was a resounding success.
The article also confirms that Sonny Bill will play on the right-edge, the position where he caused the most carnage for the Dogs back in the day, which should be a boon for SKD and RTS outwide, forming an All-Three-Name rightside attack.
I was hesitant at first to include The Sheck in my NRL Dream Team but since this has been confirmed, The Sheck is a must-have in any fantasy team now.
From Brent Read at The Australian:
SYDNEY Roosters coach Trent Robinson had trouble holding Sonny Bill Williams back yesterday. The dual international made his return to contact training and ripped in, but it still won’t be enough to convince Robinson to play Williams against the Wests Tigers on Saturday night.
Regardless, it was the surest sign yet that the former All Black would be ready for round one and South Sydney. In his NRL return, Williams appears certain to resume the role he played prior to walking out on Canterbury five years ago — a wide-running backrower terrorising opposition defenders on the right edge.
With a limited pre-season, Robinson has opted to rely on Williams’s natural instincts to ease his passage back to the game.
“I think I have said all along because it’s a late start for Sonny, his natural position is right edge, back row,” Robinson said.
“He has also played on both sides in rugby union, which will give an advantage to playing left or right edge. I still think in the back row is where he needs to play.
“Then I think he can develop into other positions as he understands our structure. Early on we’re still going to rely on a lot of habits in his game . . . that he will bring to the table.”
Robinson says he feels no pressure to play Williams, despite the fact his absence from the Foundation Cup is likely to translate to a significant decrease in attendance and television ratings.
“I know what people are saying on the outside but I don’t feel any pressure at all to play him,” Robinson said.
“My job is in the best interests of the team and Sonny. It’s great if he did play for the crowd but it’s about the Roosters and Tigers playing.
“Obviously when he came back, the pec was right for boxing.
“Now we’re trying to prepare it for tacking and wrestling, getting unnatural movements in it. He did his first tackling contact session today, and wrestled this afternoon.
“He will go again tomorrow afternoon. He is on track.”