Quade Cooper and Sonny Bill Williams announce Cooper's
boxing debut. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
The signs were always there.
From his secret handshake with Israel Dagg and childish
attempt at humour with Ali Williams during a Rugby World Cup
press meeting, to his "waxing lyrical" about what Quade
Cooper is capable of as a boxer and rugby league player, it
is official: Sonny Bill Williams loves a good bromance.
According to Wikipedia, a bromance is a close non-sexual
relationship between two (or more) men and is a form of
SBW is so bromantic with Quade Cooper he is willing to give
half his salary to his BBF (Best Bro Forever) if only the
Sydney Roosters would give him a chance.
Williams can't stop singing the praises of Cooper, suggesting
he is a "special talent" who would "make a massive success"
if he did cross codes.
For someone who seems to be milking professional forms of
sport for all it is worth and who doesn't believe in loyalty
to a particular code, he holds on tight to old-fashioned
values like integrity and loyalty to friends.
Apparently, his move back to league was as a result of a
handshake agreement made several years ago, and he is adamant
his generous gesture of giving half his pay packet to Cooper
is not just words.
He is also willing to share the boxing limelight with his
bestest buddy twice a year and sees Cooper has potential to
be a legitimate boxer with fitness, excellent footwork and
long arms in his favour.
In true bromance style, Sonny Bill has said he would "love to
do this with Quade all the time" and has even offered to take
Cooper to Japan with him in January to prepare for his fight.
What an intense relationship.
How much pressure must Cooper be feeling to live up to SBW's
Basically, he has been told by the ARU that he is no longer
wanted (although the Reds are still keen to have him), and
Sonny Bill's willingness to help his mate out is his only
Now he must step up and deliver on the claims made about him
by Williams. Does he know what he is in for, having hardly
sparred or fought before?
What kind of advice is manager Khoder Nasser giving these
The loyalty and love that Williams displays for Cooper is
jarring in the world of professional sport, and especially in
the macho sports of rugby union, rugby league and boxing. In
some ways, it is rather naive of Williams to think the
sporting world would accommodate his bromance and make the
transition for Cooper from a troubled rugby union career to
an as-yet unproven one in rugby league seamless.
He operates in a world where money talks, and has been rather
cavalier about shifting from one code to the next, so why
should sport administrators and selectors care about his love
Imagine having someone with the same marketing appeal as SBW
fighting in your corner. It would definitely open doors a lot
easier, and if this duo can pull it off and become a package
deal that boosts both the SBW brand and the QC brand, the
gamble Nasser and his charges are taking might pay off.
On the other hand, Cooper doesn't have the same wide appeal
or physicality as Williams, and appears to have a severe case
of speaking/tweeting before thinking at times, which could
backfire on him and his "bro".
It is cute to see that, in this dog-eat-dog world of global
professional sport, two grown men can form such a close and
After a week or so of witnessing no love lost between the All
Blacks and the British media, judicial system, and teams it
is a nice change to see two fully grown men offering a hand
of support rather than a foot in the face or fist to the back
of the head.