Sonny Bill Williams' imminent departure from New Zealand shores for the lure of a wealthy Japanese rugby contract has sparked intense debate on both sides of the Tasman.
Opinion is divided on whether his decision and intentions are fair and just as a modern professional athlete. Or whether his latest move is just another swing in a long-line of selfish, disrespectful and dishonourable cash motivated decisions, masterminded by his manager Khoder Nasser.
ONE News Presenter Peter Williams came out swinging with his opinion piece just hours after Willams confirmed the worst kept secret in Australasian rugby and league circles, slamming the league-turned-union-turned-boxing superstar for turning his back on the All Blacks jersey and the possibility of cementing himself amongst New Zealand's rugby greats, saying: "Good riddance Sonny Bill Williams, don't come back."
Also in his sights was the New Zealand Rugby Union, who Williams perceives as being toothless in the back-slapping manner in which they allowed Williams to leave and their apparent willingness to welcome him back to the XV man code in this country, should he one day be compelled to do so.
Rugby commentator veteran and TVNZ contributor Keith Quinn also weighed in on the matter this morning, reiterating Williams' contempt for the manner in which Williams was allowed to exit our game and cast doubt on the matter of whether Williams would be granted a walk-up-start back into the All Blacks in time for their 2015 World Cup defence.
"Shouldn't all that top brass have been working together to bar the door to vigorously prevent the departure of one of the greatest players of their game the world has seen in recent years?," asked Quinn.
"I reckon by 2015 for the Rugby World Cup year the revolving-door and machine-like production line in New Zealand will have thrown up another No. 12 test All Black," he continued.
Down in Wellington, the Dominion Post's Toby Robson offered a contrasting view , believing there is a "sanctimonious tone" to much of the criticism of Williams which he added was representative of our nations "blinkered" attitude to our national game.
After pointing out that Jerome Kaino headed to Japan in his prime with his family's financial security and a desire to carefully manage the intense physical toll on his body, at the forefront of his mind, Robson begs the question, "why the bitterness to one, but not the other?"
Robson also points out the hypocrisy and double standards that surround attitudes to other prominent All Blacks who have been granted special dispensations, and offered forgiveness for similar transgressions to Williams'.
"Has anybody considered he might just miss playing rugby league? It's a popular sport. Brad Thorn missed it enough to go back for a stint with the Brisbane Broncos.
"And will there be such an uproar if, and when, Richie McCaw or Dan Carter take sabbaticals to play overseas before the next World Cup?"
The Sydney Morning Herald's Brad Walter focussed on Williams' expected return to the NRL , the handshake agreement Williams mentioned yesterday strongly believed to be made with Sydney Roosters supremo Nick Politis, and made the point that any such return to rugby league would not be driven by money.
Walter points out Williams' speculated $800, 000 NRL contract with the Roosters would be considerably less than any earnings he could make in Japan, France or by further pursuing his boxing interests and added that Williams has not been shopping himself around looking for the highest bidder.
"The truth is that Williams paid Canterbury $750,000 to release him from the five-year deal and it was then Toulon coach Tana Umaga who approached him after hearing how unhappy he was at the Bulldogs."
"But his return has not been a bidding war between NRL clubs, as it surely would have been if Williams and his manager Khoder Nasser wanted it to be, and they only ever spoke to the Roosters."
Walter rounded things out by squashing persistent talk that Williams and his management team are the mercenaries they are often painted to be, allowing room for Nasser to say: 'If anyone wants to imply that we try to get the best price and that we go from club to club, or if any CEO says that I have rung them or approached them, that is a blatant lie.''