Toronto have confirmed the signing of Sonny Bill Williams on a two-year deal believed to be in the region of around £51,000 per week.
The announcement confirms months of speculation surrounding the 34-year-old’s future, and he will now link up with the Canadian club in December after recently competing in the Rugby Union World Cup for New Zealand.
His salary is believed to be in the region of around £2.6 million per year, making him the most expensive player in both codes of rugby, however only £150,000 of that will count on the Wolfpack’s salary cap as he counts as one of their two marquee players.
Williams has long been considered one of the most talented players in the world, making over 110 appearances in the NRL for Canterbury and Sydney, as well as picking up over 50 caps for the New Zealand All Blacks.
He becomes Toronto’s first new signing for 2020, as the club look to strengthen both their profile and playing roster ahead of their maiden Super League campaign.
“Toronto Wolfpack is a club that represents Toronto which is a very multicultural city,” SBW told the Wolfpack’s website.
“The club has big ambitions and big goals. I want to be part of all this and do all I can to help reach those lofty goals.
“On the field I’d like to bring high quality play and do all I can for the betterment of the team.
“Off the field I’d like to use my experience to mentor the young players and be helpful where I am needed.
“Super league will be a new challenge and one I’m looking forward to. It will be a new experience and one I’m ready to embrace.”
— Toronto Wolfpack (@TOwolfpack) November 7, 2019
Toronto head coach, Brian McDermott, added: “We have signed one of the highest profile rugby players, if not sports stars in the world and he will enhance the world of rugby in Toronto and certainly push the brand of the Wolfpack onto another level.
“The main point of excitement for our club is that we are signing a great Rugby League player who has the hunger to be successful in Super League much as he was in the NRL and Rugby Union.”
The Mayor of Toronto, John Tory, also noted the significance of the signing for the city.
“Today’s news is another huge win for our Toronto Wolfpack. Sonny Bill Williams is one of the best rugby players in the world and we welcome him to Toronto.
“Our city is proud of the success of this team so far and we’re ready to keep cheering them on in the Super League.”