Sonny Bill Williams: Toronto Wolfpack confirm talks with All Blacks star

Sonny Bill Williams: Pictured in action for New Zealand at the Rugby Union World Cup
Sonny Bill Williams: Pictured in action for New Zealand at the Rugby Union World Cup

Toronto have confirmed they are in fresh talks with All Black Sonny Bill Williams.

Wolfpack head coach Brian McDermott revealed earlier this month that the dual-code international had expressed an interest in joining the Canadian club and he is thought to have held face-to-face talks with the centre or second row forward in Japan at the weekend.

Williams, who was in the New Zealand team that reached the final of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, is currently preparing with the All Blacks for Friday's third-place play-off at the Rugby World Cup.

"We are in discussions but nothing is finalised or confirmed," Toronto chairman Bob Hunter told the PA news agency.

McDermott is hoping to sign at least four new players after winning promotion to Super League for 2020, including a high-profile name he believes could do for rugby league what David Beckham did for Major League Soccer.

Williams, 34, will be a free agent after Friday and Toronto director of rugby Brian Noble says his club are facing stiff competition for his signature.

"Who wouldn't want to sign him," Noble told BBC Radio 5 Live's rugby league podcast. "The information is that he's going to leave the All Blacks.

"His agent, I would say, has probably been in contact with many clubs.

"If he is leaving the All Blacks, I am confident there are two or three NRL clubs that are in the batting to secure his services."

According to a newspaper report in Australia, Williams is weighing up an offer of a two-year deal from Toronto worth around £4.8million which would make him the highest-paid rugby player of all time in either code.

The Wolfpack are funded by Australian mining and resources billionaire David Argyle, who has previously spoken about snaring Williams as their marquee signing.

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