Sonny Bill Williams with local relatives and fans in Apia this afternoon
By Tulifau Auva’a
APIA: MONDAY 18 AUGUST 2014: The NRL rugby league star Sonny Bill Williams is proud to lend a hand in the development of local players interested in the sport.
In a press conference today, he voiced his pleasure in supporting schools and communities boost their interest in the sport.
“We will combine skills clinics with educational programs aimed at teaching children to eat well and lead healthy lifestyles,” said Williams.
He was escorted around town by the local rugby league officials and also met the fans and signed autographs.
Williams is here as part of a high profile delegation to launch the NRL’S Pacific Strategy in Samoa.
He is traveling with the NRL Chief Executive Officer Dave Smith and Kangaroos coach, Tim Sheens.
“We are here as part of the Pacific Strategy launched this morning, and the Pacific Islands like Samoa, Fiji, Tonga and Papua New Guinea, will play a crucial part in the NRL’s future,” said Smith.
“Already 40% per cent of NRL players come from the Pacific Islands.”
The Kangaroos coach also stated that the interest in the NRL now in Samoa is incredible, because now that they have qualified for the Four Nations Tournament which will start 9 November this year.
“At the same time we want to help young people in Samoa, Fiji, Tonga and PNG to develop their rugby League careers by expanding the pathways already in place which enable them to play in local competitions and ultimately, their national teams,” said Smith.