The Illawarra Cutters have conceded the Sydney Roosters would deem it unnecessary to play their star recruit, Sonny Bill Williams, in the NSW Cup game in Wollongong today.
Williams played 51 minutes straight for the Roosters in the NRL season opener against South Sydney on Thursday night and was heavily involved, particularly in defence.
There had been some mid-week speculation that as the New Zealand dual international and professional boxer was to play his return match to rugby league from the interchange bench, he would be eligible to play today for the Roosters' feeder club Newtown against the Cutters at WIN Stadium.
But director of Rugby League Illawarra Bob Millward agreed that it was now unlikely Williams would back up today.
"I think it was surprising that he played so long on [Thursday] night," Millward said yesterday.
"He played the full second half and scored the last try of the match.
"He played for about 12 minutes in the first half, then he played the whole second half."