UPDATED: A decision on whether Sonny Bill Williams will play against the Bulldogs tonight will be made at the last minute — with the star second rower is reportedly doing everything in his power to be fit for the clash against his former club.
SBW received intense physio yesterday according to the Sydney Morning Herald, and according to the man himself, he’s desperate to play as he told the Herald:
”It is just because of the situation with the team, it has got nothing to do with the opposition,” Williams said. ”To me it is just another game. I have got other things to be worrying about.
”We’ve got a young side and I know that I am needed on deck, so I am going to give it every chance possible.”
Williams suffered the injury about noon and had one hour of intense physiotherapy in the afternoon and returned to the club for another one-hour session on Thursday night.
“I just went to take off, it didn’t feel real bad, so I tried to keep running but I could feel it,” he said. ”They said usually they have found people who have done that and they are sweet after one week but I said what’s the chances of playing tomorrow.
”They said they have never experienced someone who has done it so close to a game, but I said I wanted to give myself every chance so we will see how it is tomorrow.”
The Roosters tweeted that SBW will be given every chance to prove his fitness:
A decision must be made no later than an hour before kick-off as per NRL rules — so plenty of time in the eyes of Supercoaches and Dream Teamers across the country who might have pencilled SBW in as their captain.
The Australian, meanwhile, brought up Khoder Nasser’s reported demand in contract talks with the Roosters that he not line up against the Dogs. To wit:
Williams failed to complete the Roosters’ final training session yesterday morning after suffering a hamstring twinge, the injury threatening to derail his return to the club he left in controversial circumstances five years ago. The sides have already met once this year, but that was the Roosters’ home game.
The Bulldogs will host the Roosters tonight, meaning their fans should be out in force. That should ensure Williams, if he takes the field, receives a hot reception. He said on social media last night that he would spend the next 24 hours icing and stretching.
If Williams fails to take his place, conspiracy theorists will be out in force. Before he signed with the Roosters, there were suggestions his manager Khoder Nasser would insist Williams sit out the match against the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium in response to the way he was treated when he departed in 2008. Privately, the Roosters have responded with contempt to the accusation.
The rumours continue to abound that the roving second rower was set to play five-eighth as well — but with him out, the Roosters may yet go to bat with Mitch Aubusson at five eighth for the first time since round 1, 2007.