Toronto Wolfpack Sign Sonny Bill Williams to 2 Year Deal Worth $10 Million According to Major News Sources - Official Unveiling Expected at Canada House in London Next Week
The list of reputable news sources that have run the story has reached the threshold to consider it legit news not a publicity stunt. If it does turn out to be smoke it will go down as one of the greatest free marketing promotions in sport history.
The list of news sources running the story include CBC
The BBC article states "he'll take a share in Toronto Wolfpack" which could be even bigger news if he's invested in the team after his two years of playing.
The Hull Daily Mail
gives more detail, "It is understood the deal is in the process of being finalised and should be announced before the end of the week, ahead of his unveiling at Canada House in London next week. As part of the deal, Williams will make history by taking a stake in the club ahead of their move onto the stock market." Hull is one of the epicentres of Rugby League in the UK, boasting two teams in the Super League, Hull FC (Football Club, 1865) and Hull KR (Kingston Rovers, 1882).
Sonny Bill Williams will be unveiled as the highest-paid player in the history of either code of rugby next week after agreeing a two-year deal with Toronto Wolfpack. The 34-year-old has agreed to return to the 13-man code with the Super League newcomers, who will pay him a reported £2.6m annual salary – a figure which exceeds the total annual spend of every other league club in the northern hemisphere.
Only £150,000 of Williams’ wages will count on the salary cap due to the marquee-player ruling, which was implemented to attract major signings into the competition. The dual-code international’s signature for the Wolfpack supersedes any other deal struck in the competition’s history.
Toronto, who have made no secret of their desire to revolutionise league since their formation in 2017, are expected to confirm his signing in London next week, having spent weeks negotiating a deal with Williams, who featured for New Zealand at the recent World Cup in Japan. The Wolfpack coach, Brian McDermott, met him midway through the tournament to try and convince him to sign for 2020.
Williams’s return to league – the sport in which he began before departing for rugby union in 2008 then returning to league in 2013-14 – winning the NRL title twice – means almost every single team the Wolfpack visit in 2020 receive a boost in gate receipts. Williams’ debut would probably come in a double-header at Headingley in February, as the Wolfpack start against Castleford alongside a game between Leeds and Hull.
Toronto Wolfpack have 11 home matches at Lamport Stadium starting April 18th. They'll play their "home" games prior to that in the UK.
In comparison the Toronto Arrows of the MLR have 4 confirmed matches at Lamport Stadium, they have their first "home" game in Vegas, and 3 venues TBD.
There's one weekend May 2nd and 3rd where both teams will play at Lamport, Wolfpack on Saturday and Arrows on Sunday according to existing published schedules. April 18th and 19th is another weekend with both teams at home, Wolfpack at Lamport and Arrows TBD.
April 18th Hull FC @ Lamport
April 25th Wigan @ Lamport
May 2nd St Helens @ Lamport
June 13th Castleford @ Lamport
June 20th Hull KR @ Lamport
July 3rd Warrington @ Lamport
July 11th Salford @ Lamport
August 2nd Leeds @ Lamport
August 8th Huddersfield @ Lamport
August 29th Catalans @ Lamport
September 5th Wakefield @ Lamport
February 16th Houston @ Vegas
April 4th Utah @ TBD
April 12th New England @ TBD
April 19th Atlanta @ TBD
May 3rd New Orleans @ Lamport
May 10th San Diego @ Lamport
May 22nd New York @ Lamport
May 31 Washington @ Lamport