A message from Sonny Bill Williams could not help the Chiefs beat the Brumbies, but his former team will be boosted by his return.
A good luck video message from Sonny Bill Williams was not enough to help the Chiefs win their play-off against the Brumbies, but his return in 2015 is set to boost the men from Hamilton.
Williams is on his way back to the Chiefs, who relinquished the title they won in 2012 and 2013, and his return was raised shortly after his former team's 32-30 loss to the Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday.
Chiefs boss Dave Rennie admitted Williams' return in 2015 would be hugely beneficial to the two-time champions.
“Sonny sent a message to the boys wishing them all the best and obviously we're looking forward to getting him back,” Rennie told Fairfax Media.
“We're a pretty small backline without him and Richard Kahui (who left for Japan at the end of last season).
“We brought Robbie Fruean in to perhaps do that job for us but it hasn't eventuated,” he said, referring to Fruean's heart issues and the disruptive effect it had on the Chiefs.
The Chiefs lacked physically-imposing backs during 2014 and relied mostly on skillful but smaller players like Aaron Cruden, Tim Nanai-Williams, Dwayne Sweeney, Bundee Aki and Gareth Anscombe.
Those players' weigh between 82kg (Cruden) to 95kg (Sweeney) and Williams' (108kg, 1.94-metres) will be welcomed as the Chiefs look to rebuild next season.
“To have Sonny back next year will give us a little bit of size,” added Rennie.
“We'll look forward to that, it allows you to play a different style of game.”