Sonny Bill Williams close to NRL return with Sydney Roosters move
Last Updated: 24/07/20 8:17am
Sonny Bill Williams is closing in on a move to Sydney Roosters and could arrive in Australia as early as next week, coach Trent Robinson has confirmed.
The dual-code international is set to be released by Toronto Wolfpack after the Canadian side pulled out of Super League's restart plans due to financial issues brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
Robinson said the National Rugby League champions were "down the track in discussions" with Williams and his representatives and expected the 34-year-old to be on a flight to Australia next week.
"There's a few things that need to be done to get it sorted but conversations are clear," Robinson said.
"It's just all the details that need to get sorted with how it's going to work."
New Zealander Williams, who played a leading role in the Roosters' 2013 championship season, would need to seek an exemption from Australian authorities to land in the country due to current travel restrictions.
He would also need to serve a mandatory 14-day quarantine period upon arrival.
Robinson said they were aiming to have Williams playing with "four to five games to go" in the regular season, although they could face competition from New Zealand Warriors who expressed interest in a loan move for the player.
The Roosters are fifth in the table midway through the 20-round season.
The biggest hurdle for Williams may be negotiating a release from his two-year deal with the Wolfpack, worth a reported A$10m ($7.12m).
His move to Toronto was one of biggest the stories of last off-season, but players are not allowed to sign with an NRL team if they already hold a playing contract outside the league.
Williams won two rugby union World Cups with the All Blacks in 2011 and 2015 and has also represented New Zealand in rugby league.