The return of former All Blacks World Cup winner Sonny Bill Williams to the NRL has apparently moved a step closer after Toronto Wolfpack confirmed they will temporarily release him from his contract to take up a short-term deal with the Sydney Roosters.

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With Wolfpack having pulled out of the rescheduled 2020 Super League season due to the problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Williams is at a loose end that the Australian NRL club now wants to tie up. 

Speaking to Nine News Sydney, Toronto owner David Argyle explained they were willing to help out. The Canadian-based club are currently in limbo due to having no games for the remainder of 2020, but Williams is due to play for them in the 2021 season.

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“Fundamentally, all we’re doing is using loopholes that could be orchestrated to get around the intent,” said Argyle. “Sonny wants to play in the NRL for the remainder of the season and come back to the Wolfpack. How it’s done? it’s semantics.

“We’re not playing in 2020 but we are playing in 2021. It’s Sonny’s right and it’s great for the game that he showcases his talent and is able to present his persona in Australia while we are not playing.”

It was Monday when the Wolfpack announced they were pulling out of the refixed 2020 Super League season that was set to get underway on August 2.  

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A club statement read: “The Covid pandemic has presented unexpected and overwhelming financial challenges to the Wolfpack organisation. Greatly reduced ticket, sponsorship, merchandise and game-day revenue streams have resulted from the loss of all 11 of the team’s home Super League games in Toronto. 

“The Wolfpack would be left covering significant additional costs simply to complete a season of games in the UK including Covid testing, stadium rentals, medical costs and player pay increases to align with the rest of the league.

“Player and staff payroll, an issue of recent media attention, has been guaranteed by Wolfpack majority owner David Argyle and is secured by a personal guarantee to the RFL.” 

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