7 Mar 2013

Mortimer still upset over SBW's departure from Bulldogs

7:07 am on 7 March 2013

Canterbury Bulldogs great Steve Mortimer will watch Sonny Bill Williams' return to the National Rugby League for the Sydney Roosters tonight, but is still angered by the manner of the back-rower's departure from the club five years ago.

Williams stunned the Bulldogs when he walked out midway through the 2008 season to fly to France and take up a contract with rugby side Toulon.

At the time, Canterbury were struggling at the wrong end of the ladder and Williams' departure 24 hours before a clash with St George Illawarra in round 20 was the catalyst for six successive defeats, culminating in the wooden spoon.

Mortimer is one of the Bulldogs' greatest players, serving in more than 270 games and acting as the club's chief executive following the salary cap scandal in 2002.

Although he says he's still an admirer of Williams' sporting talent, Mortimer is angry he's never publicly apologised for leaving the club in the lurch.

Mortimer says a lot of people say he only chases the money and, although I wouldn't go as far as to say that, I do question his mentors and the people he has around him.

Williams' advisor Khoder Nassar is a figure who polarises opinion.

Although he's not registered as an NRL agent, he's still the man very much behind Williams and Mortimer believes he's been advised not to say sorry.