Sonny Bill Williams pays tribute to wife Alana for holding their family together as he leaves for England

The Kiwi sporting legend described his wife as a''super lady who holds it [the family] together''.

Saying goodbye to your family is never easy, especially when you've only just welcomed your newest addition into the world.
And so it is for Sonny Bill Williams, who just days after the birth of his fourth child had to leave his wife, Alana, and four children behind to return today to his rugby league team, the Toronto Wolfpack, who are playing in the Super League.
In a social media post the Kiwi sporting legend shared a family picture and paid special tribute to Alana, describing her as "the super lady who holds it [the family] down".
The former All Black had returned to New Zealand for the birth of the couple's fourth child, a son they've named Essa.
However, his time with his family was fleeting, and you can only imagine the heartbreaking scene as he left the house. He described it on Twitter:
"1st fam pic just before I had to leave again. Left with my wife crying at the door and the kids standing at the gate saying they didn't want me to leave 😢❤️
"So grateful for the love I have in my household & the super lady who holds it down @lanamarieewilli"
This is not the first time Sonny has acknowledged his wife for being the glue that holds their family together.
In 2019 he wrote on Instagram: "To all those who think a stay at home mum isn't a full time job please check yourself.
"I see you my love & I appreciate your efforts while I get to travel the world doing what I love it wouldn't be possible without you doing what you do."

Sonny has also spoken of how difficult it is to be away from his family.
In a heartwarming video interview with the other dads on last year's Rugby World Cup All Black squad, Sonny revealed that "a lot of our conversations now turn to what the kids are getting up to and how they're getting on at school.
He admitted, "We get immersed in our work and we're on the grind," but being able to pick up the phone and speak to the kids is a decompressor."
Clearly smitten with he and Alana's newest arrival, Sonny has shared on social media a video of himself enjoying 'skin on skin' time with his son, Essa.
He also posted a close-up image of Essa sleeping, captioning it, "Essa Williams. May the most high bless you to grow up to be a pious, happy, caring & strong willed man. I love you my son. ❤️"
Featuring heavily in his social media feeds are family moments, such as the times captured on film when he's returned home from overseas to surprise his children.
"8 weeks & she still remembered me," he captioned the adorable moment with his daughter Aisha, below.
Sonny and Alana were married in a secret ceremony in 2013 after dating for six months.
They welcomed their first child Imaan in November 2014 while Sonny was in Wales on the All Blacks end of year tour. Sonny watched the birth via Skype, describing it as "the proudest moment of my life."
The couple's second daughter Aisha was born in December 2016 and their son Zaid was born in June 2018.