Sonny Bill Williams, twice world champion in 2011 and 2015 with New Zealand to XV and any retired international expenses, confirmed Friday his return to XIII by signing with the Toronto Wolfpack a contract that could make him the highest paid player of Ovalie.
The 34-year-old All-Blacks retiree would have signed up for two years with the Canadian club, which won promotion to the Super League, for 2.6 million pounds (more than 3 million euros) a year. , which would be a record for the world of rugby and XIII.
"The enthusiasm he's going to generate for the XIII will be incredible," said Bob Hunter, general manager of the Canadian club, to sweep away the doubts of old age and the player's injuries in recent years.
"Sonny is a phenomenal athlete and we think he is LeBron James (NBA star) rugby and his arrival in our league is comparable to that of David Beckham at LA Galaxy (MLS)," added the leader.
Sonny Bill Williams, international in XIII before moving to the XV, played 58 test-matches with the All Blacks, contributing to the victories in the World Cup 2011 and 2015 to finish on a bronze medal in Japan.
He also represented New Zealand at the Rio 2016 rugby tournament, was international in XIII and boxing champion in his country.
The Toronto club, owned by Australian oil magnate David Argyle, will begin his first season in the Super League on February 2 against England's Castleford Tigers.
© 2019 AFP