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SBW eying French rugby: reports

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 4/04/2016

Sonny Bill Williams is reportedly close to returning to French rugby club Toulon for part of the 2016-17 season.

Williams' long-time manager Khoder Nasser met with Toulon's boss Mourad Boudjellal last week to discuss a short-term deal according to French newspaper Var Martin.

The 30-year-old would be looking to play in the Top 14 competition between August's Rio Olympics and New Zealand's British and Irish Lions Test series next June.

It would end speculation that the former Canterbury and Sydney Roosters star would return to the NRL next season.

Williams is also said to be in discussions with fellow-French club Montpellier, while he has knocked back an offer from Racing 92.

"I have no idea whether he is going to come or not and I can only confirm that the world champion has lots of choices," Boudjellal said.

"If it is just about the money, then he won't be coming to Toulon.

"But if it's a love story, he will find his way back to the RCT (Toulon)."

Williams played 33 games for Toulon immediately after walking out on the Bulldogs mid-season in 2008, drawing the ire of a number of NRL fans.

He won a World Cup with the All Blacks in 2011 before returning to the 13-man game in 2013 to win a premiership with the Roosters, then switching back to rugby union to win a second World Cup.

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