Wolfpack sign SBW for $10m, target Holmes next

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Newly-promoted Super League outfit Toronto Wolfpack are said to be closing in on the signature of dual global Sonny Bill Williams.

The Canadian outfit are splashing the cash following their promotion to Super League for 2020 and are thought to have completed the signing of the 34-year-old Williams on a two-year deal. Three early-season games will be at neutral sites in England including the opener on February 2 at Headingley Stadium in Leeds against the Castleford Tigers which will be part of a doubleheader with a Leeds Rhinos match.

Williams, who was capped 58 times by the All Blacks and won the World Cup with them in 2011 and 2015, is no stranger to the 13-man code having twice played in the Australian National Rugby League competition.

Their coach Brian McDermott, a Super League victor with Leeds Rhinos, has said the club wanted to bring in a David Beckham-type player to do for the Wolfpack what the former football star did when joining LA Galaxy in the United States, raising their profile exponentially, and that Williams fitted the bill.

That came just three years after forming, meaning top flight rugby league will be played in North America for the first time in 2020.

Only £ 150k in your salary will feature the Super League salary cap of £ 2.1m while occupying one of Toronto's slot machines, with the rest covered by the rich owner of Wolfpack, David Argyle.

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Williams is a rugby icon who has represented New Zealand internationally in both rugby union and rugby league.

He moved to rugby union in 2010 and had spells with French side Toulon and New Zealand Super Rugby sides the Crusaders, Chiefs and Blues.

He has also boxed professionally, winning all seven of his fights, and held the World Boxing Association International heavyweight title and New Zealand Professional Boxing Association heavyweight title.

A statement on Knights' website confirmed: "York City Knights are excited to confirm that the brand NY Community Stadium will host a 2020 Betfred Super League fixture between Toronto Wolfpack and Wakefield Trinity on Sunday, March 22nd". "The deal is stunning - $10 million for two years' work".

The Telegraph reported that the club were expected to raise salary cap and player eligibility issues with Super League officials at a meeting in Warrington on Wednesday.

They have since built up a home following of 9,000 and were promoted to the Super League in October after beating Featherstone Rovers 24-6 in the Million Pound Game.

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