From afar: Pressure must be huge on Sonny Bill's bestest buddy

Quade Cooper and Sonny Bill Williams announce Cooper's boxing debut. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty...
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 homosocial intimacy.

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 expectations?

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 lifeline.

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 men?

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 for Quade?

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 intimate bond.

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.




Add a Comment