Small defining moments

18 June 2024, Tuesday




All Black Sonny Bill Williams is a man with ferocious ambition, and his moves between between union and league have often been greeted with disdain.


But, all that seemed to change after last Saturday’s RWC final with one small defining moment – when he generously handed over his winner’s medal to young fan, Charlie Meens , who had managed to join the victory lap celebrations.

Sonny Bill later tweeted:

 For a kid 2 have that will, and take that risk, you deserve a medal. It only takes one thing to change someone’s life. Enjoy it Charlie bro

Sonny Bill Williams has always been someone who makes his calls from the heart.

I understand criticism. The rugby guys and the league guys are both staunch. They believe rugby is the game or league is the game. You’re a traitor to leave either. But I just do what I feel is right in my heart. I try to be a good man, first and foremost, and then commit 120%.

Earlier in this year’s Rugby World Cup two further small defining moments saw Williams praised for his sportsmanship in consoling a vanquished Jesse Kriel, after New Zealand had narrowly beaten South Africa – and his kind gesture in giving away his semi-final tickets to Syrian refugees.

Simplicity is the key and I just try to keep things as simple as I can. On the field, and off the field as well. But I never lose that one thing that’s got me there – that’s drive, working hard, doing all the little things, and ticking all the boxes.

‘SBW’, as he is known across New Zealand seems ready for his next declared challenge – to make the New Zealand sevens team to travel to the Rio 2016 Olympics.

And at 30, he may still be the one to spearhead New Zealand’s quest to win a third successive Rugby World Cup.

Thanks to Charlie Meens – a 11 year kid who had the brash to break the security lines at Twickenham , it seems his Rugby League days are finally over and he’s a ready to take his rightful place on the far broader rugby union stage.

Such is his ambition, obvious talent – and his appreciation for the bigger game of life.


  • Rob’s new book: The Game Changers: Good to Great to Greater is available FREE  as an instant digital download on his site :