Sonny Bill Williams is a free agent again after his UK Super League club the Toronto Wolfpack were blocked from returning to the competition and leaving the future of the club up in the air.
The Canadian club decided to withdraw from the 2020 Super League after earning its way into the top flight rugby league competition when the COVID-19 pandemic struck with the cost and logistics of Transatlantic travel proving too difficult for the fledgling club.
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Having played just six games for six losses before pulling out, the Super League board rejected the Wolfpack’s submission to return to the Super League competition.
The reaction was swift with current and former players sharing their displeasure at the move.
No wonder the game here is 25 years behind the one on the other side of the world
I wake up this morning gutted to hear what has happened to my club.
I once got sent a quote about RL in the UK: “Rugby League never misses an opportunity, to miss an opportunity”
I hope this isn’t the case, we need to keep forward thinking, whilst strengthening the grassroots👊🏼 pic.twitter.com/RjToX7q3Z1
“The club shares the obvious disappointment of our players, staff, sponsor and partners, as well as incredible fans, at today’s decision,” Toronto Wolfpack said in a statement.
“The Wolfpack will now take some time to consider our position and consult further with the current ownership group, led by David Argyle.”
It leaves the Super League also needing to work out the structure of its competition going forward, whether it will continue with 11 teams or promote a team to restore the 12 team competition.
But the move leaves the contract of Williams up in the air once again as the cross-code star is now without a home.
SBW couldn’t inspire the Roosters to the three-peat in 2020.Source:News Corp Australia
Having signed a two-year $10 million deal to sign with the club, the 35-year-old is now a free agent once again.
After the season suspension, Williams signed with the Sydney Roosters and although he had mixed reviews, pundits raved about the effect the football great had in the change rooms.
NRL.com reported that SBW would be open to offers once he recovered from neck surgery sustained in the Roosters’ final round loss to South Sydney.
Grateful for my time in the super league. Enjoyed playing alongside some good lads and an awesome coach. We will miss Manchester, especially the beautiful muslim community ❤️🤲🏽#AlwaysAlhamdullilah
But retired NRL great Paul Gallen told 2GB that he didn’t believe that Williams would bother returning to the football field and instead turn his attention to the boxing ring.
“It’s going to be a hard one, because realistically what’s Sonny Bill worth today? He’s a human headline. He brings a lot of publicity to your club, maybe a lot of sponsorship which may help.”
Gallen said he was “good” his return but that he was “not the Sonny Bill we remember but he’s a quality first grader”.
“What’s that worth to a club these days? $500,000? That’s decent money for the average Joe but this is Sonny Bill,” Gallen said. “He’s made a whole lot of money his whole careers: is he going to play for $500,000?”
Gallen said SBW could have “three or four fights against bums and earn himself $500,000 to $750,000 a fight”.
Gallen said “he’d probably get a couple of mill if he wanted to fight me”.
Paul Gallen is ready to bring it against SBW.Source:AAP
“I think he may turn to boxing,” Gallen said. “I just don’t see the money for him, from Sonny’s point of view. From a club’s point of view, if you picked him up for $4-500,000, the amount of money he can bring your club, the amount of people you’re going to get through the gate, the amount who watch on TV because it’s Sonny Bill, it’s enormous.”
Gallen may also have an ulterior motive with the Origin great needling SBW when the pair tried to organise a long anticipated grudge match.
“One-hundred per cent,” Williams told Gallen on Nine‘s 100% Footy when asked if he was “ever going to fight him one day.”
“Paul to be fair bro, I understand your frustrations and you coming out and saying what you need to say but I‘m comfortable in my own skin. I’ve been around for a while now bro.
“But when it comes to that, I‘m definitely not scared to get in the ring with you, I’m definitely not running. I’m actually excited to get in the ring with you and it’s going to happen.”
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