Sonny Bill billed as "rugby's LeBron James" after joining Toronto Wolfpack

Sonny Bill Williams in action for the All Blacks

Sonny Bill Williams in action for the All Blacks

The Wolfpack's majority owner, Australian mining tycoon David Argyle, said in February that the club was interested in Williams and had even reached out to his agent in 2018. "We know that bringing in a player like this plays a big part in growing our brand in not only Toronto but globally and hopefully has a legacy thereafter".

Speaking following Toronto's capture of cross-code icon Sonny Bill Williams, Meninga said the prospect of a match against the Wolfpack was one he looked forward to.

The Wolfpack hope Williams will raise their profile as Super League attempts to tap into the enormous sporting markets in North America, boosting the United Kingdom game's finances with long-held financial issues still a concern, while growing the sport over there.

Toronto chairman and chief executive Bob Hunter said the acquisition of Williams can raise the profile of rugby league across the globe.

Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga said: 'Sonny Bill Williams will provide an immediate impact for rugby league in the northern hemisphere and for the development of rugby in North America. The towering Kiwi will assume his duties with the Wolfpack after a period of rest and recovery following New Zealand's recent third place World Cup finish.

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James celebrating a 3-pointer in the National Basketball Association.

"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.

David Beckham joined LA Galaxy from Real Madrid in 2007.

He will reportedly earn £2.6 million a year (NZ$5.25m) and his annual salary will exceed the £2.1m (NZ$4.24m) salary cap Super League clubs must comply with, but it's perfectly legitimate because of the competition's marquee ruling.

It will make him the highest paid player in the history of either code, but his marquee status means that only the first £150,000 of his salary will count towards the club's salary cap.

"Toronto Wolfpack has established themselves as a multicultural and economic powerhouse, not only in the city but across the world", said Williams in a statement released by the Wolfpack.

The former Sydney Roosters and Bulldogs forward returns to rugby league after completing his second stint with the All Blacks, for whom he won the Rugby World Cup in 2015 and 2011.

The dual global began his decorated career in rugby league, representing the Bulldogs in the NRL from 2004 until his high-profile walkout on the club in 2008.

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