Inside the meeting to bring SBW to Roosters
Nick Politis sat down next to Khoder Nasser at Le Sands restaurant overlooking Botany Bay.
Anyone would think they were meeting over a seafood platter on Wednesday afternoon to do a deal for Sonny Bill Williams to return to the NRL.
But this was more about two close mates than a manager and a footy club chairman negotiating a contract.
It's true the Sydney Roosters are considering bringing back the premiership-winning superstar for the final six weeks of the season and the finals.
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The champion forward has been freed from his Super League deal with Toronto Wolfpack and weighing up the possibility of a 10-week stint in the NRL.
Your columnist was a guest at the lunch.
It was pre-arranged weeks ago and just happened to coincide with SBW cutting ties with the Toronto Wolfpack and being on the open market.
Veteran player agent Steve Gillis was there too.
Plus Politis' great mate, property guru Frank Colacicco.
Obviously Sonny Bill and his possible options were mentioned over lunch.
Maybe a 10-week stint at the Roosters.
Maybe a fight against Barry Hall or Paul Gallen closer to Christmas.
You got the impression from Khoder that the Roosters were Sonny Bill's one and only option if he comes home to play rugby league.
And Sonny Bill said as much last night.
"The idea of playing in the NRL has real appeal to me and I wouldn't go down that road without speaking to Nick Politis first," SBW told Nine News.
The Warriors and everyone else are wasting their time because, out of respect for Politis, Williams wouldn't play for anyone else but the Roosters.
Khoder joked that Williams would need a corporate jet to get his family home.
And then a harbour-front mansion for the wife and kids to stay once they were out of isolation.
It was all light hearted. Lots of jokes but no photos or quotes.
Certainly there was no mention of a contract or him definitely returning.
Politis was open minded but said he would need to speak to coach Trent Robinson.
After lunch Politis and Khoder spoke privately on the Grand Parade roadside in Brighton.
Khoder will speak to Sonny Bill overnight in Manchester.
A decision will be made in the next 48 hours.
Williams would have to fly home to Sydney next week, spend a fortnight in isolation with his family, and then have a three-week preparation to get his body right to play again.
He has not played since COVID-19 shut down the Super League in late March.
The Roosters are under the salary cap by more than $200,000 this year.
They have huge injury problems in the forwards with Victor Radley out for the season and Angus Crichton now sidelined for six to eight weeks with a knee injury.
An SBW comeback would be a massive coup for the NRL, not just the Roosters.
He would attract huge TV ratings and crowds during the finals, if COVID restrictions allow for it.
Whatever happens, SBW will be back at the Roosters one day.
They have a long-standing arrangement that he will return on the coaching staff as a mentor for the younger players.
And that, at this stage, is the only done deal.
Originally published as Inside the meeting to bring SBW to Roosters