NRL 2020: Sonny Bill Williams faces uncertain future as Sydney Roosters' quest for three-peat ends with loss to Canberra Raiders

Sonny Bill Williams' future is up in the air after the two-time defending NRL champion Sydney Roosters were eliminated from the finals by the Canberra Raiders on Friday night. 

In a rematch of last year's Grand Final, a late Jack Wighton try helped the Raiders secure a 22-18 win in Sydney, ending the Rosters' quest for a third successive NRL championship.

The loss also brings an end to Williams' stint at the Roosters, where he played five games after the Toronto Wolfpack withdrew from the English Super League season due to the "overwhelming financial challenges" posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

While Williams is contracted to the Manchester and Toronto-based club for next season, there is a chance that the Wolfpack will get relegated to the second-tier championship as a result of withdrawing. 

There is also lots of uncertainty around the coronavirus, and Williams may not want to take his family back to the UK where COVID-19 is still rife compared to Australia. 

Williams, 35, refused to rule out an NRL return, but told Channel Nine he has to speak to his wife first.

"I'm not too sure at this stage, I've got to talk to the wife," Williams told Nine.

"These old joints are a little bit tough to get out of the starting blocks each week.

"We will see what happens with Toronto and if that falls through, then who knows, I might be standing here next year holding that microphone.

"I'm too sure, I've got to keep a few balls in play and talk to the wife. If anything comes to fruition, it's got to go through the boss.

"Tough result tonight but I'm just grateful to still be here doing it."

Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson was also asked about Williams, but he was unsure where his future lies. 

"I don't know [about Sonny]. I'm not saying with the Roosters but obviously the curtain's closing," he says. 

"He's got the contract with Toronto and I think he showed there's a fighter there, and he made a big impact on our game tonight."

Meanwhile, for the Raiders, the win sets up a preliminary final date with the Melbourne Storm next Friday in Brisbane, with the winner to advance to the season decider on October 25. 

Raiders fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad.
Raiders fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad. Photo credit: Getty

"I'm proud of our players and how they have handled this season," says Raiders coach Ricky Stuart. "They are more than a team.

"Where we have got to today, no one gave us a chance outside of our own group and I remember saying in this room after the last time we beat the Roosters here that no one has given us an opportunity to show what is underneath the jumper.

"Win or lose next week we have had an unbelievable season and we are in there punching again."

The Penrith Panthers will face either the Parramatta Eels or South Sydney Rabbitohs next weekend in the second preliminary final.