TODAY |

Sonny Bill Williams named in NRL's Team of the Decade - 'Grateful and humbled'

He may have only swapped codes for two seasons, but Sonny Bill Williams' impact and legacy with the Sydney Roosters has led to him being named in the NRL's Team of the Decade.

Williams - who will likely be named in Steve Hansen's 31-man squad to play in his third Rugby World Cup - was named on the interchange of the squad alongside Paul Gallen, Luke Lewis and Jamie Lyon.

The 34-year-old, along with the other 16 members of the team, were picked by 23 rugby league legends on a judging panel which included Immortals Mal Meninga, Andrew Johns, Wally Lewis and Bob Fulton.

Premiership-winning coaches Phil Gould, Craig Bellamy, Trent Robinson and Ricky Stuart were also part of the panel along with Hall of Famers Peter Sterling, Darren Lockyer, Danny Buderus and Laurie Daley.

Williams recieved 15 nominations from various members of the panel after playing an influential role in turning around the culture at the Sydney Roosters during his two-year stint at the club before returning to rugby union.

During those two years, Williams made 45 NRL appearances and also helped the Roosters to the 2013 NRL Premiership.

Williams took to social media after hearing the news to thank those who'd elected him to the squad.

"Grateful and humbled to be named by legends of the game in the NRL team of the decade," Williams wrote on Twitter after the announcement.

"A kid from Aotearoa being recognised by some of the greats has me buzzing. Alhumdulliah."

Williams' NRL career began in 2004 at just 19-years-old when he debuted for the Canterbury Bulldogs. He played five seasons for the club before his infamous exit in 2008 where he swapped codes to play union for French club Toulon.

He has since gone on to win two Rugby World Cups with the All Blacks in 2011 and 2015 and was selected to play in the 2016 Olympics with the All Blacks Sevens before a ruptured Achilles tendon ended his campaign early.

The only other Kiwi named in the Team of the Decade was Jesse Bromwich as a starting prop. Tongan star Jason Taumalolo also made the team.

NRL Team of the Decade, 2010-2019

1. Billy Slater, 2. Jarryd Hayne, 3. Justin Hodges, 4. Greg Inglis, 5. Brett Morris, 6. Johnathan Thurston, 7. Cooper Cronk, 8. Matthew Scott, 9. Cameron Smith, 10. Jesse Bromwich, 11. Boyd Cordner, 12. Sam Burgess, 13. Jason Taumalolo

Interchange: Paul Gallen, Sonny Bill Williams, Luke Lewis, Jamie Lyon

Sonny Bill Williams in action for the Roosters. Source: Photosport


More From
NRL