Sonny Bill Who?

Sonny Bill Williams is a superstar rugby player who draws a crowd wherever he goes. Sir Mark Todd is also a legend. So what happens when they meet?

(Image: Libby Law)
(Image: Libby Law) Sonny Bill Williams – could we see him at the Olympics as a rider one day?

Sir Mark Todd has a fan! Not just any old fan, but a rugby superstar fan.

Sonny Bill Williams, who is at the Olympics as part of New Zealand’s sevens team, recognised Sir Mark at the athletes’ village and approached him. According to the much-amused Tim Price, who was on hand to witness the meeting of the two greats, Sonny Bill said: “Hello Sir Mark, good to see you again.”

Toddy’s reply?  “Hello, and who are you?”  SBW laughed and told him: “I’m Sonny.”

Sir Mark confirmed that indeed he did not recognise the big man, but explained: “It was dark and I didn’t have my glasses on!”

Clarke Johnstone was delighted to get the opportunity to talk to SBW and was still laughing about Sir Mark’s reaction. “Mark asked what his name was, which was a bit embarrassing. He genuinely didn’t know who he was. Sonny was very good about it, though; he thought it was funny.”

Several members of the sevens team had come in to do their press conference just before it was the New Zealand equestrian team’s turn. During the rugby conference, Sonny Bill was asked by one of the many foreign journalists in attendance whether he had another sport on the horizon, since he had already done so well at 15-aside rugby, rugby league and boxing. Sonny said that he was “just concentrating on sevens at the moment.”

Jane is a big rugby fan so it wasn't hard to convince her to jump into this pic with Sonny Bill Williams! (Image: Libby Law)
Jane is a big rugby fan so it wasn’t hard to convince her to jump into this pic with Sonny Bill Williams! (Image: Libby Law)

I managed to catch up with Sonny Bill after his press conference had finished and get a picture with him – and he was gracious enough to answer a couple of questions.

“Yes, I have ridden a horse, when I was about five. I want to do a bit more though, as my young daughter seems to be interested in them.”

When I suggested that it could be a sport which he could do for some time, his face lit up. “I could be like that fella Todd, and keep coming to the Olympics when I’m 60!”

Priceless Olympic moments.