RugbyU: Williams not returning to union

Cross-code superstar Sonny Bill Williams will not return to rugby union next year, opting instead to stay with the National Rugby League's Sydney Roosters, the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) said Friday.

There has been fevered speculation about Williams' future since he helped the Roosters win the NRL title last weekend, with the New Zealander weighing up an offer to rejoin the All Blacks for a tilt at the 2015 World Cup.

But Neil Sorensen, NZRU's General Manager Professional Rugby, said Williams had rejected the chance to link up again with the team he helped win the 2011 World Cup.

"We obviously worked pretty hard to bring Sonny home, and we have had some really good conversations with him," Sorensen said in a statement.

"This is disappointing but we know we put our best foot forward, and in the end Sonny has made his decision."

He said lines of communication would be kept open with the mercurial 28-year-old, who only this week changed his mind about playing for New Zealand in the Rugby League World Cup later this month.