It's not about the money, says SBW
Chiefs centre Sonny Bill Williams has dismissed claims from his critics that he is a mercenary who is driven by financial reward.
Williams announced last week that he will leave New Zealand at the end of the Super Rugby season to take up a short-term 12-game deal with the Panasonic Wild Knights in Japan which is believed to be worth NZD1.5M (970,000 Euros).
He is then set to take up another lucrative deal with a NRL club believed to be the Sydney Roosters in 2013.
But Williams insists it's not about the next big pay cheque for him.
"I think that a lot of people think that my manager goes out there and shops me around but it's the opposite, he doesn't do anything," he told EWN Sport.
"I just try and perform on the field; and I believe if you're performing on the field then the offers will come," added Williams.
The 26-year-old has also been criticised because he refused to commit himself to New Zealand rugby on a long-term basis but he feels that his motives are misunderstood.
"A lot of people think of me, or look at me, or take me in the wrong way in the sense that I only sign one-year deals, in that I only want to get the best deal for myself," said Williams.
"But they forget though that the pressure's on me as well, I have to perform every year and that's what gets the best out of me.
"Every year I know that the pressure's on me to perform, if you don't perform then no one will want you.
"I've seen far too many players get to that age where they're probably not performing as well as they have in previous year's and skip the cut.
"People, before they go start asking questions about that, they should look at the whole picture as well."
Williams admits that he would like to leave New Zealand as a Super Rugby winner and he does not rule out a return to the 15-man game.
"Nothing is settled with me when it comes to playing-wise," he revealed.
He also hinted that he would consider a return to Toulon in France where he began his union career and that Hamilton would be his preferred destination if he came back to New Zealand.
"That's always an option I guess, you never close any door especially when you have fond memories of that place (Toulon)," explained Williams.
"Playing for the Rouge et Noir was pretty special, I had some really good times there.
"Mourad Boudjellal is a special man, he loves Toulon wholeheartedly; he put everything into it and you've got to admire that.
"I don't know what tomorrow holds, I just want to play good and do myself and my family proud.
"Like I said if I ever came back to New Zealand I wouldn't play for anyone else other than the Chiefs and if I ever went back to France it'd be tough to play for any other club, other than Toulon."