Toronto Wolfpack have billed Sonny Bill Williams as “rugby’s LeBron James” after he joined the Super League newcomers in a move likened to David Beckham’s switch to LA Galaxy.
Williams swapped codes again to sign a lucrative two-year deal with ambitious Toronto after the New Zealand centre added two Rugby World Cup titles to his union CV.
The Wolfpack have pulled off a major coup to land the 34-year-old following their promotion to the top flight in only their third season.
Toronto chairman and chief executive Bob Hunter said the acquisition of Williams can raise the profile of rugby league across the globe.
“The excitement he will bring to the sport of rugby league in this country will be incredible,” said Hunter. “Having someone of his talent join the Wolfpack will greatly raise the profile of the club, and also help move the game forward globally.
“Sonny is a phenomenal athlete and we believe he is rugby’s LeBron James and his addition to our league is comparable to when David Beckham joined LA Galaxy.”
— Toronto Wolfpack (@TOwolfpack) November 7, 2019
Wolfpack head coach Brian McDermott expects Williams to make a big impact in his first stint in Super League.
“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,” said the former Leeds Rhinos boss.
“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.”
Leicester Tigers issued a hands-off warning after Toronto were linked with Manu Tuilagi, while fellow England centre Ben Te’o is also reportedly on their radar.