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Hachette Australia, Hachette Aotearoa New Zealand and Hodder UK are delighted to be working with Sonny Bill Williams, and best selling, critically acclaimed author Alan Duff, on Sonny Bill’s powerful memoir You Can’t Stop The Sun From Shining out this October. Sonny Bill Williams’ 1M Instagram fans are among the first to preview the official book trailer launched today.

Sonny Bill Williams said: ‘I am sharing my story in this book, the good and bad of it, to help inspire others. I owe it to the young kids growing up, dreaming of a different life to the one they are living every day, to tell all of it. To those kids dreaming of being the best they can be in sport or conquering the world in other ways, I want to show it is possible. I was one of those kids and I could have very easily lost my way. I was blessed with sporting talent that took me places, introduced me to inspiring people and opened doors to opportunity. But I also had to learn that not everyone has your best interests at heart, and that it is easy to lose yourself when you are a young bloke far away from home and thinking the fast life is the only choice. 

‘I want to show that hard work and focus can make a difference. To encourage others to back themselves and be brave enough to walk through those doors. To also show that you need to follow your heart and your own moral compass and if you do, change can happen. What matters most to me now is family, faith, friends and helping to point out injustice in the world. Because I have been given a gift and a profile, and I have to use them to make a difference.

‘I still love my sport – rugby union, rugby league and boxing – I don’t have a favourite. I love the challenge of the competition and watching or competing against the best of the best. You Can’t Stop the Sun from Shining is about it all.  

‘Years ago a journalist said about me, “You can’t stop the sun from shining”. It was one of those play on words commentators say but it stuck with me, not because it was about me, but because it is true. No matter what happens on the field, in the ring or in my life, it is a reminder to push through and keep going, keep trying, because the sun will keep shining and a new day will come. No matter what happens on the field, in the ring or in my life, it is a reminder that Allah does not burden a soul beyond what it can bear.

‘Working together with Alan Duff means I know my story will be told the right way. The man is one of the best. I hope you enjoy reading my story. I look forward to meeting and talking with readers when the book is released.’

Alan Duff said: ‘I’m delighted to be hearing Sonny Bill tell his story. One full of surprises, honesty, from a most caring, empathetic person. Every interview reveals something new. But then would you expect bland, predictable and boring from New Zealand’s greatest, most exciting all-round sportsman? Nah. That ain’t the SBW I’ve got to know and you will soon.’

Sonny Bill is determined to use his profile to help lift Pacific Islanders and Maori, and he is ensuring the production of this book in Australia and New Zealand does the same. It starts with the photographer, Mona Seiuli, who took the cover shot and is of Pasifika background. Sonny Bill and Hachette have ensured key editorial staff align with this mission.

About Sonny Bill Williams

Sonny Bill Williams (SBW) is a once in a hundred-year athlete with immense sporting talent. He has been a national and international champion across Rugby Union, Rugby League and Boxing. Williams began his career in Rugby League, and has played in the Australian NRL with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and the Sydney Roosters. He has played for the Toronto Wolfpack in Super League and has played Rugby Union for Toulon in France, Canterbury, Counties Manukau, the Crusaders, the Chiefs and the Blues in New Zealand and the Panasonic Wild Knights in Japan. He has won 58 caps for the New Zealand All Blacks and was a member of the teams that won the 2011 and 2015 Rugby Union World Cups. He has also played Rugby Sevens for New Zealand, competing in the 2015–16 World Rugby Sevens Series and the 2016 Olympics. Williams has boxed professionally seven times, winning all of his heavyweight bouts. He was the New Zealand Professional Boxing Association (NZPBA) Heavyweight Champion and World Boxing Association (WBA) International Heavyweight Champion. Away from sport, Sonny Bill Williams focuses on his family, his Islamic faith and is very involved in charity work and promoting social justice.

About Alan Duff

Alan Duff is a novelist, columnist, advocate and businessperson. His first published novel, Once Were Warriors, was a critical and commercial success, and was subsequently made into an award-winning feature film. Alan has published several novels and has written for radio and as a newspaper columnist. He has been an outspoken commentator on Maori affairs and was the driving force behind the creation of the Duffy Books in Homes scheme in New Zealand, which aims to break the cycle of disadvantage felt by kids who can’t read and make books available to children at minimal cost.

For book-related interviews and events, please contact Emma Rusher on:

  • You Can't Stop The Sun From Shining - Sonny Bill Williams, Alan Duff

    For the first time ever, sporting legend Sonny Bill Williams is telling his story. Working with Alan Duff, award-winning author of Once Were Warriors, this will be the must-read autobiography of the year.

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