SBW unlikely to plan Nines, says Fittler

Sydney Roosters great Brad Fittler says he would love to line up alongside Sonny Bill Williams at the Auckland Nines but concedes it’s unlikely.

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Fittler has been lured out of a 10-year retirement to join the tricolours for the inaugural two-day NRL pre-season tournament next month and believes Williams would be a formidable Nines player.

The Roosters haven’t finalised their squad for the Nines but Fittler said he spoke with coach Trent Robinson on Wednesday who suggested the NRL premiers would rest Williams from the Nines with the World Club Challenge scheduled for the week after.

“I spoke to the coach today and they have the World Club Challenge game the week after and they are still indecisive as to whether certain players will play the Nines or the World Club Challenge,” Fittler told 2SM’s Talkin’ Sport.

“There hasn’t been a final conclusion but there is a big chance Sonny won’t be playing which is a shame.

“I have played against Sonny and I reckon it would be fun to play with him.”

When told Williams’ manager Khoder Nasser had told TVNZ on Wednesday that the dual international would not be playing in the February 15 and 16 tournament at Eden Park, Fittler said: “He is probably right”.

Fittler said he had begun training for the event and was confident he would make a good account of himself in his return to the game he left in 2004.

“I have got five weeks and it should be under control,” he said.

“I know I will enjoy it … there should be no reason why I can’t handle it.

“I’m approaching it in a fantastic mood.”

Williams is due back at Roosters training on Monday, with the majority of the club’s World Cup stars, ahead of the World Club Challenge against Wigan at Allianz Stadium on February 22.

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