THE Blues are hoping to lure Sonny Bill Williams after the All Black said yesterday he would re-sign with the New Zealand Rugby Union for another year.
Blues coach Pat Lam was delighted the five-eighths had decided to stay on after the World Cup and said it was now up to Williams to choose which Super 15 franchise he would play for next year.
"He's got a tough decision to make but we just have to be patient. We are definitely interested in him but it has to be his choice."
Williams is being pursued by his present Super 15 team, the Crusaders, as well as the Chiefs and the Blues.
Lam said the Blues had been contacted by Williams' management and both parties had indicated they were interested in a deal.
"We just have to sit back now and let Sonny Bill make the call. There are a lot of factors for him to weigh up.
"We would be very happy to get him," Lam said.
The final deadline to finalise the Super 15 squads is October.
Williams said yesterday that he had not decided which franchise he would play for next year. "That's a tough one. I'm torn in a few directions."
He said he hoped to make a decision before the World Cup.
If Williams, whose mother lives in Pt Chevalier, signs with the Blues he will join fellow All Blacks midfielder Ma'a Nonu.
All Black backs coach Wayne Smith will be an assistant coach at the Chiefs next season.
"I'm committed to staying here for another year. It's due to the fact that the amount of support that I've got back in New Zealand has been pretty humbling and cool at the same time," said Williams.
The main reason for staying in New Zealand was playing for the All Black jersey.
"At this stage it's just one more year but things could change. It just keeps me on my toes like I've said before with my one-year contracts."
Williams wanted to keep working hard trying to concentrate on rugby and hoped things would fall into place off the field.
"When I first came it was just about trying to get into the World Cup, make myself available, try and make the World Cup squad and then go back offshore and do my trade over there," said Williams. "But the amount of support I have got has been really humbling and at the same time really cool because I didn't think I would get that."
He was not surprised by the pulling power of the All Blacks.
"I've known for a long time what the All Black brand is and what it's about. When you're living in France and young kids are walking around who can't even speak English and wearing All Black jerseys, you know that the All Black brand is pretty big."
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